Funded by Hooters of America, LLC
The early detection of breast cancer through screening mammogram has resulted in higher rates of cure for patients. Women are able to be diagnosed at an earlier stage and undergo less intensive treatment. Unfortunately, women from a racial/ethnic minority group are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced disease which results in higher rates of death from breast cancer. Factors that contribute to disparities include lack of access to early screening, unequal access to improvements in cancer care, and lack of insurance coverage.
Advancements in Radiation Oncology have improved the treatment of early stage breast cancer by decreasing the total treatments from 25 to only 5 treatments. This reduces the overall treatment time, making it a more convenient and cost-effective approach. However, this treatment is not readily available to underserved patients, which is evident in the fact that this group is not fully represented in clinical trials. To improve outcomes by expanding access to care for medically underserved women, we propose to partner with local organizations to make screening mammography available at no cost to uninsured or underinsured women. We will implement a study that would enroll patients diagnosed with early stage breast cancer who then have surgery to receive a 5 treatment course of radiation. The primary objective of this study would be to demonstrate that outcomes in this underserved population are similar to those established by large clinical trials.