The main objective of this study was to examine the disparities between Black and White cancer patients through numerous avenues: information exchanges during oncology interactions, dosage levels of adjuvant chemotherapy, administration of standard or nonstandard chemotherapy, encouragement of “watchful waiting” or “active surveillance”, administration of definitive therapy (surgery or radiation), quality of medical facilities, health plans, past discrimination, and stereotyping or bias from treatment providers. The main argument regarding this specific social problem is as noted, “…although biological, genetic, and physiological factors play significant roles in who develops cancer, how it is treated, and who survives it, social political, economic, and psychological variables also substantially contribute to cancer racial/ethnic disparities in treatment outcomes” (Penner 329).
Conflict theory is primarily derived by analyzing the data and reading descriptions. It comes from the mind of Karl Marx, and explains how there are power structures in society that separate the “haves” from the “have-nots”. The ideas of the “haves” trickle down all through society to ensure that the dominant class maintains the dominant position – a hegemonic ideal. Although Conflict theory’s ideas are more in regard to class, one must note that race intersects with class. This journal article uses Conflict theory to explain how the powerfully dominant race (Whites) generally receives better cancer treatment and, therefore, has a higher rate of survival than Black Americans.
This social issue is not present only in the United States, but through all the major industrial countries. According to public health data from numerous countries, “…disadvantaged ethnic/racial minorities systematically experience worse health and receive poorer health care than members of majority ethnic/racial groups throughout the world, across political systems, geographic regions, and health care financing systems” (Penner 350).
• Research Questions:
o R1: Does one’s race influence the quality of health care one receives?
o R2: Are White cancer patients more likely to receive better health care and therefore survive cancer?
o Ho1: Race does not influence the quality of health care one receives.
o Ha1: Race does influence the quality of health care one receives.
o Ho2: White cancer patients are not more likely than all other races to receive better health care and survive cancer.
o Ha2: White cancer patients do receive better health care than all other races and, therefore, have a higher chance of surviving cancer.
• Variables of Interest:
o Independent Variable: Which one or more of the following would you say is your race?
o Dependent Variable: How often did doctors, nurses, or other health professionals give the attention you needed to your feelings and emotions? –AND- How often did they make sure you understood the things you needed to do to take care of your health?