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Black women 40 percent more likely than White women to visit emergency room after breast cancer surgery

Black women are 40 percent and Hispanic women 11 percent more likely than White women to have an emnergency room visit within 90 days after breast cancer surgery, according to a study of 151,000 women in California. The study also found increased rates of emergency department visits for women covered by Medicaid and Medicare versus commercial insurance.

Among those with breast cancer-related emergency department visits, the most common reasons included complications from surgery or cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy.

“Understanding and reducing inequities in access to cancer care is vital to reducing the significant ethnic and racial disparities in cancer mortality,” said Caryn Lerman (above) who led the study. “Women should not have to seek emergency treatment for conditions that may be avoided with access to proper care.”

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