Saturday, October 20, 2007

You DO know it's Breast Cancer Awareness month, right?

It hadn't occurred to me to blog about the fact that it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, until I stumbled upon this blog today and it lead me to this article.

I was aware, as most of us are these days, that breast cancer is one of the - if not THE - leading killers of women these days. I wasn't aware, however, that it is only recently that it's become prevalent among what we like to term "3rd-world countries."

I was shocked and dismayed to learn that in some countries, women don't even get treatment at all. But then it got me thinking.

I truly am blessed to be living in the UK. Why? Because if I were to get breast cancer today, I wouldn't have to worry about when I would be able to afford to get treatment. I wouldn't have to pay for it. And as much as I love my home country, it makes me glad to BE an American but LIVE in the UK. I love my country, but that doesn't mean I don't see her flaws - and let's be honest. America has a lot of them. One of them being the health care industry - and that's what it is. An industry. I know that a little better than some, because I used to work WITHIN that industry. Health care in America is all about making money. Here, it's actually about HEALTH and CARE. Amazing concept, isn't it?

A poor woman in America will most likely be in the same predicament as a poor woman in a 3rd-world country, unfortunately. If she can't afford to go to the doctor to get diagnosed in the first place, she's not going to be able to get treatment, let alone pay for it.

As much as I wish that women in those poor countries were to get treatment, I can't help but think of my "American sisters" first. People like the woman who used to live across the street from us in Joliet - a wonderful woman, an ex-police officer, and a nurse - but one who couldn't afford healthcare because she had a son and an elderly father to care for. She talked about it when she first found out what I did for a living. I was lucky - we were poor, but I made enough money to be able to have our health insurance and just be able to pay the bills, too. (There WERE times when things got really bad - like after I'd had Lexi - but that was due to the fact that I wasn't working, and unforseen expenses ate up a lot of the money we did have coming in.)

It's a difficult situation, regardless of who you are and where you come from. It's a totally all-encompassing disease. Whether you're rich or poor, you have the possibility of it happening to you. And even getting treatment doesn't automatically mean that everything's going to be okay. The richest woman in the world could get it, be able to pay for treatment, and still end up dying from it. You just never know. Obviously, getting treatment - and getting it early - drastically improves your chances of beating the disease, but it's not certain. Nothing ever is.

But there are still women out there that don't have a chance in the world, because of their financial situation and/or location. And while no, I don't have the answer... I still think it's wrong. I don't know how to solve it, but I still know it's wrong.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home