Social factors affecting treatment of cervical cancer: Ethical issues and policy implications

Shannon N. Westin, Dan Bustillos, Jacalyn B. Gano, Margaret M. Fields, Ann L. Coker, Charlotte C. Sun, Lois M. Ramondetta

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

17 Scopus citations


Health care in the United States has become a privilege rather than a right. Patients who have the greatest need are the ones most likely to be denied this privilege. Despite recent advances in disease detection and treatment, many patients do not receive even the bare minimum of care. The high complexity of the health care system in the setting of patients with low levels of health literacy significantly affects the ability to seek and receive treatment in a timely fashion. In addition, lack of insurance, transportation, and social support further complicate access to care. To truly provide a standard of care to all patients, regardless of resources, our health care system must evolve to address the needs of the population. In this paper, we report a tragic case where social factors affected the outcome of a single mother with advanced cervical cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-751
Number of pages5
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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