Chance for life is being stolen by these 5 social barriers

Harold Mandel's picture
Poverty kills
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It is no surprise that poverty is associated with poorer outcomes in cancer screening and treatment. The causes for this tragic problem are multidimensional and deal with lack of proper education to deal properly with cancer prevention and treatment in some instances and the literal lack of resources to seek proper cancer intervention in other instances.

It appears to insist that sometimes people are more in touch with some type of mystical higher internal values and are richer in their souls in some manners if they are poor is just a pathetic rationalization for cruelty to human beings. Nobody from a health care perspective is better off poor and without your health you really have nothing much left for your life in this world.

Reporting on the painful problem of social barriers in receiving proper health care, The Journal of General Internal Medicine has written, "Social Service Barriers Delay Care Among Women with Abnormal Cancer Screening." There have been serious Inequities in cancer outcomes for minorities and vulnerable populations which has been associated with delays in cancer care that result from barriers to accessing proper care. Sarah Primeau, MSW, research assistant in the department of general internal medicine at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), led this study.

Social service barriers deal with obstacles which are related to meeting life’s most basic needs, such as housing and income. There are often efforts to support these problems with public policy, regulation and services. However, there are fears among those who care about those in need and the poor that these initiatives may dry up someday in the United States if the government fails to come to a more stable and enduring resolution to the present fiscal crisis.

The objective of this research was to examine the association which exists between social service barriers and the timely diagnostic resolution after cancer screening which picks up an abnormality.
The researchers were from Boston Medical Center (BMC), Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH), and Tufts Medical Center. Subjects who had no barriers, who had other barriers, and who were struggling with social service barriers were compared dealing with their time to diagnostic resolution. The social service barriers being confronted included:

1: Income supports

2: Housing and utilities

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3: Education

4: Employment

5: Personal/family stability and safety.

It was the conclusion of these researchers that vulnerable women struggling with multiple barriers, when at least one of these barriers is a social service barrier, such as problems with housing and income, have delays in obtaining care. The impact of of this problem may never be fully realized if such painful social service barriers continue without being identified and addressed. Training individuals from the community as patient navigators to assist underprivileged patients to overcome these problems appears to be a worthwhile consideration.

I personally first witnessed the devastation associated with poverty and problems receiving proper health care when I was a medical student and I visited ghetto homes in Philadelphia. The problems inherent in extreme poverty should make any normal person come to tears. The families I visited generally wasted away their days sitting in empty, filthy little ghetto rooms. The kids were generally fed peanut butter on molded bread while the mothers and fathers subsisted in cheap junk food.

Time after school, during the evenings and on the weekends for the kids in the ghettos consisted of fighting alongside their parents to avoid lethal bites from huge deadly rats, not cuddling charming teddy bears. And recently we are seeing more literal murders from shootings and knifings in America's ghettos than ever before as desperation from finding no way out of this living hell creates chaotic anger and desperation to get even with a society which creates overnight billionaires in quick stockmarket IPOs while millions of Americans starve to death down the street.

Health insurance reform may appear to be a good answer for these problems. However, this is too costly for most families. Reporting on the problem of high health insurance costs, Teresa Tanoos has written, "Health insurance now costs average family $16,000." Although Obamacare is supposed to be a fix for the problem of high costs for health insurance, the implementation of the Affordable Care Act is now in flux with an uncertain future.

People caught in the deep distress of extreme poverty are not even a consideration for these type of costly policies. They still need help with free health insurance, while the millions of homeless people across the United States generally do not even have this. This problem becomes even more distressing when considering speculation by some that Obamacare will not lower the cost of most health insurance policies. Reporting on this concern, Teresa Tanoos has written, "Obamacare could double or triple health insurance rates."

So it's not at all surprising women are also dieing more often from lack of proper cancer intervention in such environments in what actually amounts to a form of social murder. It is wrong to imply the victims of poverty would not have the same brainpower as the wealthy anyway. A human brain, just like a good car, needs good fuel and an open road to function well. And of course a breakdown of a human brain and body from lack of proper nutrition due to poverty is also associated with a myriad of other illnesses aside from cancer, such as infectious diseases, obesity, diabetes, depression and anxiety.

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