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Study reveals African-Americans in Georgia more likely to die from cancer

Everyone, no matter where they live, should be able to receive proper medical care and treatment. When that is not the case and a doctor is found to be negligent, an individual may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

According to a new study from researchers at the University of Georgia's College of Public Health, an African-American has a much lower statistical chance of surviving cancer than another person from a different ethnic group. This is a national phenomenon, but it is especially pronounced in Georgia. Researchers found the greatest survival disparity when analyzing deaths from prostate, cervical, and oral cancers

The exact reasons for cancer's greater impact on African-Americans are unclear, but researchers think that there are probably multiple contributing factors. African-Americans living in rural areas appear to suffer the most, and this might be related to the higher likelihood of low socioeconomic status. People with lower incomes may not have access to adequate health care. In general, more advanced health care may be harder to find outside of urban areas.

When African-Americans living in rural areas seek cancer treatment from local physicians, however, they are still entitled to quality health care. The location of the doctor's practice does not matter when it comes to malpractice liability, and there is no exception for doctors who work with patients in communities with lower incomes.

Whether a doctor operates out of a rural hospital, a free clinic in Atlanta, or in the most advanced medical facility in the region, the law requires that they adequately care for patients. If African-Americans who suffer from cancer succumb to the disease at a greater rate than other groups, then medical malpractice liability may be something worth exploring.

Georgians with family members who have suffered or died from cancer and who suspect inadequate care was the cause may wish to seek legal counsel. They may be entitled to damages for substandard care provided to their loved one.

Source:, "African Americans in Georgia found to have poor survival rates from cancer," Mar. 14, 2012

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