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Study of Breast Cancer Treatment Shows Racial Disparities

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A new study shows that black women have to wait longer for breast cancer treatment and diagnosis, regardless of their health insurance coverage.

Records of 581 breast cancer patients were studied by researchers at the George Washington University Cancer Institute. Patients were treated at 7 hospitals and clinics between 1997 and 2009.

Diagnosis: To get a definitive diagnosis, insured black women and uninsured white women had to wait over twice as long.

Insurance: Contrary to the researcher’s expectations, insurance coverage did not even the field. Insurance coverage was not correlated with quicker diagnosis in black women.

Treatment: After diagnosis, black patients had to wait twice as long as white patients to begin breast cancer treatment.

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