Each year, women in North Carolina are diagnosed with breast cancer and receive treatment after their diagnoses. However, there are disparities among diagnoses and treatment in Black women versus white women. Black women have consistently had worse outcomes with breast cancer in spite of a lower prevalence of the disease compared with white women.
Studies show racial disparities among women with breast cancer
Early diagnosis of breast cancer or any type of cancer and receiving treatment immediately are the best ways to get a good prognosis for survival. A study was performed that looked at hundreds of women, some white and some Black, who were diagnosed with breast cancer. The women were interviewed by researchers to determine how long it took for them to receive their diagnoses and how long it took afterward for them to undergo surgery. The researchers found that there were differences depending on race that led to Black women being diagnosed, on average, two months later than white women.
While some of the factors in delayed diagnosis were due to the patients themselves, doctors delaying is considered medical malpractice. The later a breast cancer diagnosis is made, the less likely women are to have successful treatment so they can live.
Racial disparities lead to a higher risk of death
Over the years, Black women have had a significantly higher risk of death from breast cancer than white women with the disease. When there is a two-month delay in diagnosis and treatment, a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed. If women are treated as long as two months after diagnosis, it can worsen their survival rate.
Unfortunately, this is a trend that is often seen in the medical field. Black women may not be taken as seriously when they see a doctor and say that something is wrong.
Who can provide you with legal assistance?
Delays in diagnosis and treatment can have deadly consequences. If you or someone you love has been affected by this issue, you need a skilled attorney on your side. An attorney could hold the doctor, healthcare professional or medical facility liable for your damages.