Case Study #2
Ms. Aguilar is a 53-year-old woman from Mexico currently living in Texas. She has been in the United States for the past 15 years but does not have legal immigration status. Ms. Aguilar has been working as a nanny in an informal employment relationship that does not provide health insurance. After seeing a flyer for free breast cancer screenings, she visits a county clinic for a mammogram. The mammogram reveals a mass in her breast. The county clinic is able to offer screening through the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program but is unable to provide treatment to Ms. Aguilar. Ms. Aguilar has saved enough money to pay out of pocket for a biopsy, which shows that the mass is malignant. With the help of her family, she is able to pay for surgery and staging, which reveals that she has metastatic breast cancer. After surgery, Ms. Aguilar’s surgeon recommends that she consult with a medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist about follow-up treatment. At her appointment with a local oncology practice, Ms. Aguilar explains that she and her family do not have insurance and cannot afford to pay for any additional treatment. She asks whether the practice would be willing to treat her for free or at a significantly reduced cost, and whether there are any resources she can turn to for additional funds.
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