Lack of Access To Healthcare Might Be The Reason Behind Black Americans Dying Due To Colorectal Cancer

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It is not a hidden fact that there is a racial gap that exists in the death rate of colon cancer patients across the United States. A large portion of the African American population is strangely diagnosed with the dreaded disease at hard to treat stage in the US. A study has come out with many theories behind why African Americans are at a higher risk of dying due to colorectal cancer, which can be treated at stage 1 or 2. Experts have analyzed around 16382 patients with colon cancer to draw their conclusions. Experts have drawn all their theories from a common ground, which is a systemic lack of access to healthcare. This study has been done by experts from the City of Hope National Medical Center in California.

Researchers have examined the data of patients dealing with severe colon cancer from 2000 to 2012. They have compared treatment, outcomes, demographic conditions, and their concurrent health issues. They have revealed that overall African Americans are 10 percent less likely to get a lifesaving treatment at the last stage of cancer. Scientists have said that black Americans are at a 17 percent higher risk of dying due to colon cancer as compared to white Americans. The report has said that if an African American undergoes a liver surgery for the treatment of his cancer, which has spread to the other organ, he poses the same chances of survival as a white American. However, findings reveal that most of the black patients are least likely to have surgery or chemotherapy for the treatment.

The lead author of the study Dr. Lucas Thornblade has said that such disparity might be due to a low rate of referral to cancer specialists, late diagnosis of colorectal cancer transition, fear of cancer, and its treatment and expense and other burdens. The co-author of the study has expressed his concern saying that authorities need to bring a significant social change to bridge the racial gap in providing adequate healthcare to every US citizen. Inequality in healthcare and medical racism has been a fact in the nation, said the author. Even when the US is stricken by the COVID19 pandemic, black Americans fall among those people who are most susceptible to the virus. This study has been published in the JAMA Network Open.


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