Different forms of disparities occur in the US, especially in health. In the last two decades, one of the main concerns of Healthy People has been disparity. The Healthy People 2010 sought to eradicate, instead of only reducing, this problem (“Disparities,” 2020). The Healthy People 2020 has broadened this objective to encompass the realization of medical equity, eradication of disparities, and facilitation of people’s well-being. Breast cancer is the primary source of death amongst women in the US. Black women experience a higher death rate from breast cancer than their white counterparts or any other ethnic group in the United States.
Portrayal of the Healthy People 2020 Program
The Healthy People 2020 program outlines health disparity as a form of deviation in the medical sector that has a close link to the ecological, economic, and social shortcoming. Whenever a medical outcome is perceived to an exceedingly high or low degree between different groups of people, a disparity exists. Healthy People 2020 seeks to realize quality long lives devoid of any preventable disease, injury, early death, or disability (“Disparities,” 2020). It endeavors to attain medical equity, eradicate disparity, and improve the quality of care for all populations. Healthy People 2020 understands the benefits of creating physical and social settings that facilitate proper treatment and disease prevention for all. Therefore, it supports healthy development, appropriate behaviors, and quality of life across all human development phases.
Description of Population and Health Disparity
Health disparities negatively impact populations that experience hindrances to healthcare anchored in either race, religion, gender, socioeconomic position, mental health, age, disability, region, sexuality, or any other attribute that is historically associated with segregation or discrimination. Although breast cancer mortality rates have reduced in other racial groups, the incidence among African American women has been rising continually (Newman & Kaljee, 2017). Cases of breast cancer are remarkably higher in white females than in African American women. Nevertheless, African American women have a higher probability of dying from breast cancer at any age than their white counterparts. Unlike white females, Black women have inadequate access to early detection, screening, and quality treatment.
History of the Condition
Traditionally, the prevalence of breast cancer has been low amongst African American women than their white counterparts. However, the rate of breast cancer for the two populations equalized in 2012 (Yedjou et al., 2019). This insinuated a continuous rise in the incidence of the health condition among African American women despite its level remaining stable amongst white females. Among African American women, breast cancers are usually established at a younger age, and they portray more giant tumors than amongst the whites. Poverty is a crucial factor in the existence of this health disparity. For example, low-income African American women have considerably low chances of screening, early-stage diagnosis, and often obtain insufficient and disparate treatment, leading to increased death from breast cancer.
African American women have low incidence but high mortality level of breast cancer, unlike white females. This signifies that African American women are fewer and have a lower probability of developing breast cancer but have a higher likelihood of dying from the condition than their white counterparts. Black females have a 45% higher level of breast cancer deaths when compared to white women (Yedjou et al., 2019). More to that, African American females are less probable to survive for at least five years following a breast cancer diagnosis. This has been associated with health disparity as African American women are less likely to obtain proper and timely screening, diagnosis, or treatment than white females.
African American women are at a high probability of developing breast cancer below 50 years of age and often show a more severe variety of this disease referred to as triple-negative. This form of breast cancer does not convey the estrogen receptor genetic factor, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, or progesterone receptor. The triple-negative type of breast cancer is highly likely to develop and spread faster than other varieties of the condition (Pellom et al., 2020). Additionally, attributable to Black women having more inferior financial status than their white counterparts, they have lesser access to quality treatment, which translates to the high mortality rate from breast cancer.
Reasons for Disparities
African American females have a 60% higher probability of developing the triple-negative condition than white women. Yedjou et al. (2019) affirm that about 30% of the breast cancers established in Black women are triple-negative. Sadly, numerous socioeconomic aspects contribute to the existence of health disparity among Black women, such as unsatisfactory screening, late diagnosis, and inability to access quality treatment. The failure to obtain timely screening and treatment is occasioned by poverty among African American women, which means that they cannot afford to pay for such services. This translates to subsequent worse outcomes of the disease.
Health Promotion Activities
The best culturally competent health improvement endeavor for proper breast cancer prevention and treatment among African American women is increased awareness and education. The government, non-governmental organizations, and other interested parties should work jointly through outreach to encourage every person to be upbeat and seek early screening before the established age for breast cancer death crisis (Newman & Kaljee, 2017). Moreover, apart from educating African American women to seek early screening and treatment for breast cancer, all stakeholders should create policies to eliminate financial hindrances that bar this population from access to quality care.
There is a need to enhance breast cancer screening and treatment for African American women as a step towards eradication of the current health disparity. For example, non-governmental agencies could establish policies of soliciting funds to finance health promotion for this population, or the government could introduce free services such as mammograms and breast cancer treatment to eradicate the existing disparity. The Affordable Care Act could be amended to ensure the affordability of breast cancer screening and quality treatment for African American women and other disadvantaged individuals (Pellom et al., 2020). Additionally, the health department should ensure that individuals, medical professionals, and other leaders from the African American population are included in decision-making to eliminate the underlying racial disparity to be correctly established, thoroughly tackled, and eventually effective.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death amongst women in the US. Black women have a higher mortality rate from breast cancer than their white counterparts or other ethnic groups. Healthy People 2020 attempts to realize quality long lives devoid of any avoidable disease, injury, untimely death, or disability. It seeks to accomplish medical equity, eradicate disparity, and advance the quality of care for all. Unlike white females, African American women have inadequate access to timely detection, screening, and quality treatment. Poverty is a vital influence in the existence of this health disparity. The government could initiate free services such as mammograms and breast cancer treatment to eliminate this disparity.
Disparities. Healthy People 2020. Web.
Newman, L. A., & Kaljee, L. M. (2017). Health disparities and triple-negative breast cancer in African American women: A review. JAMA Surgery, 152(5), 485-493. Web.
Pellom, S. T., Arnold, T., Williams, M., Brown, V. L., & Samuels, A. D. (2020). Examining breast cancer disparities in African Americans with suggestions for policy. Cancer Causes & Control, 31(9), 795-800. Web.
Yedjou, C. G., Sims, J. N., Miele, L., Noubissi, F., Lowe, L., Fonseca, D. D., Alo, R.A., Payton, M., & Tchounwou, P. B. (2019). Health and racial disparity in breast cancer. Breast Cancer Metastasis and Drug Resistance, 1152, 31-49. Web.