According to the article, in 2005, the last year data was available, "the breast cancer death rate for African-American women in the city was 116 percent higher than that for white women."
116 percent higher?
Sorry, but that whole "biology" argument doesn't cut it with me. In fact, it's heinous to just blame biological factors for certain races as the reason these individuals' death rates from disease are higher -- without exploring such factors as socioeconomic status and access to quality medical care.
As someone who is lucky to have great insurance, I can honestly say that I shouldn't have to feel "lucky." Our medical system is in dire straits and has been in the news so much lately because people are aware of the disparity in quality of treatment and the underinsured.
The disparity is this: when it comes to receiving quality medical care, socioeconomic factors do play a role in determining individuals' medical fate.
It is really unfair. Something needs to change....and fast.
Beth L. Gainer is a professional writer and has published an essay on her breast cancer experience in the anthology Voices of Breast Cancer by LaChance Publishing. She teaches writing and literature at Robert Morris College in the Chicago area. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. She also blogs on the adventures of her cats, Hemi and Cosette, at http://www.catterchatter.blogspot.com/.