Researchers who analyzed more than 8,000 cases of young poor, black, and Hispanic women in California diagnosed with breast cancer found that they have longer delays before they receive treatment and a resulting poorer survival rate. NYIT Vice President for Health Sciences and Medical Affairs Barbara Ross-Lee, DO, tells Newsday that the findings apply to poor and minority women on Long Island as well.
"We've been very slow in documenting these kinds of problems and even slower in crafting solutions," says Ross-Lee. Problems with access are compounded when fewer doctors choose to accept Medicaid patients. "In this country, it is against the law to discriminate against people based on race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation," Ross-Lee adds. "But there is a very open form of discrimination based on economic status, and Medicaid is perceived as a clear marker for socioeconomic status."