Can we stop cancer become a disease of the poor? - NH Health

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Can we stop cancer become a disease of the poor?

Can we stop cancer become a disease of the poor?

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Recent studies on cardiovascular disease have proved that the task of breaking the nexus between poverty and poorer health is really complex. Moreover, cancer poses equally complex questions. The bridge between low socio-economic status and poor health is extremely difficult to break.

In today’s era, chronic illness is more likely to drag someone to poverty, although this theory walks us to a very small truth to paraphrase the strength of an association documented all across the globe. This association exists even in countries like Australia that are well-known to make the finest healthcare facilities to be available regardless of wealth. Also, it is particularly stark in the Australian subcontinent because of the major prevalence of illness that can be found among the Indigenous population with life expectancy for men equal to 17 years less than the national life expectancy average. It has been found that Indigenous health has to face particular challenges, the fundamental causes being probably similar to those that affect lower socio-economic individuals commonly.

One of the most comprehensive researches held about the health differences based on income and status in the Western societies, the Whitehall Study began in the year 1967 and it involved the examination of thousands of British civil servants and their job categorization corresponded closely with their income and their socio-economic position. While the people at the bottom including messengers and guards, were observed to have a mortality rate as much as three times higher than the senior executives who were examined. Only less than half of the difference had been explained by the most significant predictors of illness including high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels or maybe a major frequency of smoking.

Research has even shown that health varies by social status and income. This has resulted to a shift in focus towards the ways which is relative to poverty and low social status that can result in illness. Another set of British findings emphasizes on a strong connection between the low employment status, domestic stress and even poor self-esteem directs towards the job stress that might be only one component. Financial insecurity of the people is one major cause of domestic stress. Stressed individuals rarely prioritize preventive health over other aspects of life.

Until recently, most of the impact of the socio-economic health differences was on heart disease rates. There has been a wide range of incidence of heart disease that has been decreasing sharply as in comparison to cancer and other external causes of death including suicides and mental traumas. Apart from smoking-related issues, the incidence of cancer is observed to be less affected by socio-economic factors; however, there are some types of cancer that are more common among higher socio-economic cohorts.

Nevertheless, controlling cancer will increasingly involve screening analyzing to detect it early and/or the use of expensive drugs for its treatment. So as to avoid socio-economic disparities that are emerging in cancer outcomes, it will be essential to explicitly target the less well-off and socio-economically weaker section for the screening and ensure equitable access to effective treatment facilities and therapies to combat those diseases.


To conclude, it is important to note that the illness must be essentially recognized and mortality patterns can transform rapidly and often these can add more to the socio-economic gradients of health. This can evidently be seen in the US, where the numbers of loss of life from opiate misuse and suicide have escalated sharply among people of lower socio-economic status. Hence, it depicts that the imperative to minimize socio-economic-related health differences will need appropriate attention to a broad spectrum of social and public health factors.



Author: Saloni Gaba

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