Essay Sample on Cervical Cancer among Hispanic Women

Posted on August 28, 2013

Cancer has grown to become one the leading causes of death in the world today. Cervical cancer affects the cervix, which is the lower narrow end of the uterus. It is caused by the Human Papillomavirus Virus (HPV virus), which causes the rise in the malignant neoplasm thus causing cancer in the cervix uteri (Stewart, 2008). This virus is transmitted sexually from one person to the other. Although it is not as common as other types of cancer, it is still a significant challenge to the healthcare system. The most common symptoms of cervical cancer are abnormal bleeding and discharge through the vagina and pain during sexual intercourse. To diagnose cervical cancer, healthcare professionals use a Pap test as it tests for the malignant neoplasm, which show positive when in plenty (Parker, 2011). Like the other forms of cancer, cervical cancer can be treated through chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

In the United States, the highest numbers of women suffering from cervical cancer are from the Hispanic community, which accounts for 50.5 million people in the total population (Giachello, 2012). Within the Hispanic community, the rate of cervical cancer is twice the rate of all the other communities and has become the leading cause of death for Hispanic women. Some of the major causes that factor this rise amongst the Hispanics include lower income levels when compared to other communities and poor access to healthcare within their communities (Parker, 2011). According to statistics, 27% of the Hispanics live below the poverty level as compared to 10% in the other communities while 31% are uninsured for healthcare as compared to 12% in other communities (Dolecek, 2012). In 2012, the total number of Hispanic women suffering from cervical cancer was estimated to be 2.1 million, which translated to 37% of the overall cases of cervical cancer (Giachello, 2012). This shows that the Hispanic women are at greater risks of contracting cervical cancer that all other women in the United States.

The healthcare system in the United States has been used in the fight against cervical cancer as the government has invested heavily on technological advancements that are to be used in the treatment of this medical condition (Delgado, 2011). According to statistics released by the government, the healthcare system in the United States is excellent with regard to the treatment of cervical cancer. This is attributed to the equipment and professionals that are being used to address this medical condition. The government has set up medical laboratories where research studies are carried out to understand cervical cancer (Hahn, 2010). Healthcare has greatly influenced the rise in the number of cervical cancer cases among the Hispanic women. Firstly, the rising costs of healthcare have hindered the women from accessing these services and testing for cervical cancer.

This leads to situations where the women suffering from cervical cancer are diagnosed at later stages of the cancer, reducing the chance of having it cured. Secondly, poor healthcare facilities and lack of qualified healthcare professionals has also been a key factor that has influenced these rates (Giachello, 2012). In areas where the Hispanic women live, the healthcare facilities lack the necessary equipment for the diagnosis of these diseases. Most of these healthcare facilities also lack an adequate number of qualified medical professionals thus meaning that the women may not be able to access diagnostic services (Hahn, 2010). This in turn translates to an increase in the number of women suffering from this condition, as the healthcare system does not give them the opportunity to be tested and treated for cervical cancer.

The quality of healthcare services provided in the ecological model is determined by several factors, which also determine the health levels of the people in the society. The factor mainly comprise of four important categories: sociodemographics, phychosocial, lifestyle, and psychological. Under the sociodemographic factors, the Hispanic women have greatly been affected by their income levels as they earn less than other communities.

Statistics also show that they have low educational level, which makes it hard for them to understand the importance of testing for cervical cancer (Dolecek, 2012). This translates to the increase in the number of cervical cancer patients from that community. Under the phychosocial factors, the Hispanic women do not comply with the rules and regulations put in place by different healthcare facilities with regard to testing and treatment of cervical cancer. Based on the increase in the number of patients suffering from cervical cancer, the government has put in place measures that ensure that every woman is tested for this illness.

Lifestyle factors also determine the level of healthcare services that Hispanic women require. According to different newspaper articles in the United States, the Hispanics get involved in different illicit behaviors based on their low-income levels. These behaviors include intake of alcohol, smoking, and the use of other illicit drugs, which lead to them developing risky sexual behaviors (Hahn, 2010). These translate to risk factors for cervical cancer, which leads to the increase in the number of patients. Lastly, the Hispanic women are affected by the psychological factors, which greatly affect their healthcare behaviors. Some Hispanic women believe that medical conditions such as cervical cancer cannot affect them. This leads to them ignoring having to get tested and the development of an attitude towards healthcare facilities. All these factors mentioned affect their behaviors towards healthcare facilities, which in turn increase the number of women suffering from cervical cancer (Parker, 2011).

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