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Income important in tracking health status

on says there are several reasons that poverty can affect quality of cancer care. Low-income women may have a narrower choice of health care settings and may be more likely to encounter sites that are lagging behind in professional practices that are demanded by more affluent patients. For example, one study showed that use of breast conserving therapy for early stage cancer was most used by affluent women and least by inner city or rural women. Low-income women may also be less likely to take advantage of newer, complex therapies either because multiple visits are required or because they are less educated about standards of care. Uninsured women with cancer may simply have a difficult time getting the full range of healthcare services.

"Without better data, we cannot know why some patients do not receive certain treatments or therapies that are considered standard or beneficial," said Anderson. "Collecting information on poverty status will help pinpoint gaps in care that financially needy may face, and raise awareness to correct it."


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Contact: Karen Richardson or Shannon Koontz
rconn@wfubmc.edu
336-716-4587
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
31-Oct-2003


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