Even of breast cancer in comparison to Caucasian women.

Even though there has been numerous improvements in
the exploration of breast cancer, it is rather unfortunate that records
indicate that African-American women still continue to suffer inexplicably from
the outcome of the illness. For years now, researchers have concluded that
Caucasian women have a higher incidence rate of breast cancer than
African-American women. Astonishingly, African-American women succumb to the disease
at a much higher rate than their Caucasian counterparts. In addition,
African-American women have the least survival rate of breast cancer than any
other race in the nation. Presently, African-American women have an 80 percent
overall five years survival rate for breast cancer whereas Caucasian women have
91 percent (Breast Cancer Facts: Survival, 2017).

           

EVIDENCE
THAT JUSTIFIES BREAST CANCER MORTALITY IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN AS A PUBLIC HEALTH
ISSUE

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            In
the article “Reducing Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Female Breast Cancer”,
authors Sassi, Luft & Guadagnoli (2006), expressed the notion that the amplified
mortality rates of breast cancer that African-American women experience clearly
demonstrates atrocious health disparities of the disease. Diagnosis of breast
cancer in African-American women habitually entail deplorable prognosis such as
higher grade or progressive stage of the disease. Although both
African-American and Caucasian women had similar mortality rate of breast
cancer in the early 80’s, in recent times, African-American women record a
forty percent mortality rate of breast cancer in comparison to Caucasian women.

 In contrast to Caucasian women, the lack of access
to screening facilities is a major contributing factor to the increased
mortality rate of breast cancer among African-American women. Quite a number of
African-American women live in underprivileged areas that lack quality and
effective health facilities. This makes it rather impossible for these women to
not only receive regular screening exams but also increase their chances of late
diagnosis. The only way we can be able to see a drastic decline in the
mortality rate of breast cancer in African-American women is if there is a
policy in place that mandates underprivileged areas have equal access to
effective health facilities as those found in Caucasian populated areas.

            On
the other hand, Jones & Chilton (2002), elaborated that the
disproportionate mortality rate of breast cancer in African-American can be as
a consequence of socioeconomic status. Majority of African-American women live
in poverty and therefore are of low socioeconomic status. They either rely on
Medicaid or are uninsured and therefore cannot afford the same treatment that
Caucasian women receive (Jones & Chilton, 2002). This eventually increases
the chance of the disease progressing to advanced stage and hence mortality. The
low socioeconomic status of African-American women also contribute to lack of
knowledge on the importance of regular mammogram exams as well as the lack of
transportation to health care facilities.

 

 

INTERVENTIONS
CURRENTLY IN PLACE TO REDUCE BREAST CANCER DISPARITIES IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN
WOMEN

 

            As
mentioned above, socioeconomic status, regular screening procedures and timely
diagnosis and treatment greatly impacts the outcome of breast cancer in
African-American women. One of the most prevalent intervention in the nation is
the need for prevention and most efficiently early detection. Numerous breast
cancer organization such as Susan G. Komen, the CDC and the different states’
health department through the use of media campaigns around the nation have
sought to educate African-American women on the need of regular mammogram exams
(Burton & Bell, 2013). Regular mammogram exams in these women often lead to
early detection of the disease. In return, early detection thus lead to timely
treatment. Research have shown that women who receive timely breast cancer treatment
have a better chance of surviving the disease leading to a better prognosis.

            Being
that most African-American women lack knowledge on the importance of seeking
regular mammogram exams, this intervention has thus increased the rate of them enquiring
about breast cancer details to their family physician. In recent years, this
has resulted in a slight increase in breast cancer screening rates in
African-American women.

            As
much as this intervention has increased the rate of breast cancer screening in
African-Americans, it also falls short in certain areas. These campaigns are
infrequently aired in rural areas that are populated by African-American women.
Not only are these women left out on the education of seeking regular mammogram
exams; but they also face barriers such as financial if they decide to heed to
the advice. African-American women living in these rural areas are poor, do not
have access to quality health services and lack transportation to urban areas
for screening procedures. Even though this intervention can reach out to
numerous people and achieve its goal of educating them in seeking regular mammogram
exams, it is thus impractical if these women cannot afford the medical fees or do
not have health facilities in close proximity to their homes that render these
services (Masi, Blackman & Peek, 2007). This shortcoming of the
intervention needs to be rectified in order to achieve its maximum outcome.

 

ALTERNATE
INTERVENTION

Unfortunately, in the event
of any disease, the people that suffer the most are the poor. To efficiently reduce
the alarming rate of breast cancer mortality in African-American women,
interventions in place have to be revised to also target people living in rural
areas. African-American women predominantly reside in these areas and this
should be the main focus of the interventions. Many of these rural areas either
lack any health facility at all or have facilities that do not render screening
procedures. Therefore an alternate to the above intervention is to in fact construct
effective health facilities in rural areas with sufficient staff and equipment
that will be offer free mammogram screening procedures. If for any reason the
construction of a health facility is impossible, arrangements should be put in
place to provide transportation for these women to neighboring towns so they
could undergo breast cancer screening procedures. To increase the rate of women
that will partake in these interventions, it is imperative that the program
stays in constant contact with the target population either through text
messages or mail-in flyers advising them of their next mammogram exams or
providing information on breast health and breast cancer preventions (Coughlin,
2014). In contrast to the present campaign that relies on media campaign such
as television or radio ads, mail-in flyers are more tangible and therefore have
the prospect of being looked at more than once. On the other hand, people tend
to forget the messages of media campaigns after it is aired.

            This intervention
will increase the full participation of regular mammogram screening in African-American
women especially those residing in areas that lack access to quality health
services. The mail-in flyers will constantly provide information pertaining to breast
health to these women and as such increase their knowledge on breast cancer. More
importantly, the increased participation of these women in seeking screening
procedures in increase early detection as well and increase the survival rate
of breast cancer.

            One potential
challenge of this intervention is financial barriers. Depending on the state or
city, the construction of a healthcare facility in all rural areas will be
deemed very expensive and this impossible. In addition, even if the
construction of these facilities are approved, there is still a challenge in recruiting
staff to live in those areas and serve the communities. As such, the implementation
of this alternate intervention faces both human and financial constraint. It is
only when these constraints are satisfied would there be a glimpse of hope that
mortality rate of breast cancer in African-American women will be diminished. 

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