Breast cancer is one of the cancer types with the highest incidence and mortality rates globally. Specific to females, breast cancer is the leading cause of death, cancer-related disability-adjusted life years, and years of life lost in the globe. Significant improvements in systemic therapies and population-based screening have been linked to significant rises in breast cancer survival in Australia.
However, like with many chronic conditions, estimates of incidence and survival in breast cancer vary between population characteristics, including race and socioeconomic status.
Racial/ethnic and socioeconomic status disparities exist in rehospitalization rates, short- and long-term death rates, and the location of discharge for both surgical and medical illnesses. These disparities might be attributed to a number of variables, including those affecting patients, providers, and structural issues affecting access to treatment.
In many countries, poorer health has been linked to greater financial deprivation and geographic isolation. There are even some geographically distant regions where accessing medical treatment may be challenging. It has been noticed that persons who live in remote areas are diagnosed with chronic illness later in the course of the disease than those who reside in metropolitan cities.
Furthermore, women in socioeconomically deprived areas had lower overall screening participation rates and a higher likelihood of unfavorable outcomes. These factors include sex, age, genetics, family history, dietary habits, medical history, inactivity, excessive co-morbidities, and obesity, which are connected to disparities in cancer treatment and results.
However, a patient’s race or ethnicity and SES differences are a few of the additional immutable factors that could have an impact on their length of stay in the hospital. Evidence shows a connection between race/ethnicity disparities and lower SES to be confounding factors in the length of stay for patients hospitalized with cancer, heart failure, and childbirth.
These investigations, meanwhile, have been quite limited. Although it is unknown whether racial/ethnic disparities in length of stay apply to all patients hospitalized for medical and surgical reasons regardless of insurance type, this could have an effect on how hospitals allocate resources, how doctors are compensated, and how the patients are treated. Therefore, narrowing the disparity gaps or eradicating racial/ethnic and SES disparities is a public health priority.
Initially, the incidence of breast cancer was higher among White women in Australia, but over time, this trend has converged. Multiple studies have documented persistent racial disparities in breast cancer outcomes, including poorer treatment quality and higher mortality, even among hospitalized patients who have accessed healthcare. This suggests that additional research studies and intervention strategies are required to eliminate inequalities in breast cancer care and outcomes.
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