An alarming new study released in England showed that an early cancer diagnosis depends on where you live, meaning the level of care you have direct access too. Some patients across the country were even shown to have an early diagnosis of the disease more than 4 times other patients. It also showed that insurance companies specifically have carried 25 times more scans for tumor detection. Why is this an issue? Let's explore.
Experts believe this is quite unfair. Some patients may not have access to the level of care that's needed for an early cancer diagnosis which across most cancer conditions dramatically increases survival rate.
This study led to researchers speculating that many patients are dying from cancer because the tumors are found too late.
Among other findings in the report, these three stood out:
- Stroke victims in some areas are 60 times more likely to be offered physiotherapy and rehab when they return home from hospital than those elsewhere.
- There is also a four-fold difference in patient’s chances of being offered a hip replacement and three-fold variation in treatment for cataracts.
- New mothers who have undergone a caesarean in some hospitals have a nine-times higher chance of having to be readmitted following complications than others, possibly due to poor care.
Authorities in England did express that many healthcare organizations, hospitals, doctors practices and insurance companies have a lot of room for improvement.
This same issue has been touched on across U.S. healthcare as well. It's true, certain lines across our culture such as class and poverty level along with insurance coverage really matter when it comes to the type of care you will receive.
The other side of it, though, is patient education. Patients very often of all ages aren't proactive when it comes to their health. Men are notorious for this, but women as well in some cases. Even young people are further and further believing that going to the doctor isn't that useful and very costly. But this is dangerous. Even the smallest of symptoms nowadays can mean something, especially if they're repetitive such a headache. But many people let these signs go until it's too late.
Read this post about the critical things you shouldn't hide from you doctor.
Also check out this post about how to find the right doctor for you.