Affluence Linked to Adequate Treatment of Early-Stage Breast Cancer

The study found that the greater the gap between high-income individuals and low-income individuals within a community, the larger the gap in testing.

Wealthier women who live in communities with the greatest income divide between rich and poor had better access to a new genetic test that can determine the most effective form of treatment for early-stage breast cancer, according to a new study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Harvard Medical School's Brigham and Women's Hospital and Aetna. The study, published in the April issue of the journal Health Affairs, also indicated that only a small minority of women with breast cancer received the test at all.

"Our study shows that even among women who have insurance, where they live and how income is distributed in their community were closely linked to their chance of getting access to an effective innovation in the early years of its diffusion," said Ninez Ponce, associate director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and lead author of the study.

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