Thursday, October 28, 2010

Breast Cancer Zip Codes

The local news tonight ran a story about 8 zip codes in the area having extremely high percentages of Breast Cancer diagnosis.  One has the highest percentage in the state.

I'm impressed they have this much data to compare.  It would seem they couldn't have access to everyone's medical info, but then again, I guess you can find anything online.

They spoke about these zip codes as rural areas where women don't have health insurance.

I took a look, these are the WEALTHIEST areas around our beautiful city.

78633, 78701, 78645, 78676, 78619, 78731, 78669 and 78734  Stick with me after this little break down.  I promise I have a valid point.

One is Georgetown, a city two suburbs above Austin with a huge section of it called Sun City vying to separate from the rest of it because they are super wealthy and all retired and don't want to pay for schools any more.

Two are in our Westlake Hills area which is home to Austin's finest and richest doctors, lawyers, computer geniuses, etc.  If you are a girl who graduated from Westlake High, you are the type of person Mike Posner was talking about in his song Cooler Than Me.  Michael Dell lives in this area.  He's a Billionaire, right?

Two are in our Downtown and "Old Austin" area.  The Governor's Mansion is one of the smallest houses in the area.

Two of them are in the south west hill country.  Sure, I think this is that "rural area" they were referring to as most folks own massive acreage, so there are fewer neighbors around.

The last is the zip code in the center of the river we call Town Lake or Lady Bird Lake.  These homes are up on the cliffs that over look the city and the lakes.  They all have their own boat docks that lead down to the river.  These my friends are truly some of the richest folks in Austin.  Pretty sure this is where Sandra Bullock's local home can be found.

OK, so what's the point?  Why are you doggin' on Breast Cancer Research and Statistics?  It is in the spotlight in the best possible way a horrible disease can be.  The woman on the video, from the local chapter of Susan G. Komen, made a comment that funding will be based on these statistics.  That it gives her specific audiences who need her education and assistance.

Cool, reach out to these communities.  But I don't think they are appropriately interpreting the data.  I believe there are more women of an older age.  Women with more money to go to the oncologist.  Women who are educated on the need for early detection.  Women who take their health to professionals, not in their own hands or fate.  In true dick fashion, I'll point out something else that's probably uncalled for, but I think it's a valid point too.  These women are statistically more prevalent for the disease given their age.  Also wealthier women are less likely to breast feed which helps reduce the risk of Breast Cancer.  (The hippies don't live in these areas either!)

The areas we should be worried about are those who are lower income.  Women who aren't properly educated or cognizant about it.  Areas where women can't afford to go to the doctor.  I would like to see them push the funding to younger women for early detection and understanding of risk factors to avoid.  I would like to see more free screening commercials.  I'm sure if I had more time I could come up with more ideas but I do not have all the answers. I am worried that if they go off skewed data, they will leave bigger holes than those they are attempting to fill.


  1. Thanks for that spam. Wonder what disease my PC just got.