Ending Breast Cancer Disparities

Ending Breast Cancer Disparities

Each October, when breast cancer awareness month comes around, I find myself thinking about “awareness” and what the messages need to be. Most of us know breast cancer exists, but how deep is our understanding of where we are with this disease? Do we know what is needed to make real progress and save more lives?

One of the most critical breast cancer awareness messages is about the urgent need to end breast cancer disparities.

The National Cancer Institute defines cancer health disparities as “adverse differences between certain population groups in cancer measures.” Such measures include, for example, number of new cases, number of deaths, and cancer-related health complications.

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10 Things We Learned About Progress Against Cancer in 2015

A review of major developments in cancer research and breast cancer in 2015.Looking back over the past year, what were some of the big things we learned that contribute to the progress that’s being made against cancer?

Here are ten of the stories that stood out most for me. Some involved new treatments or evolving treatment approaches. Others were about important policy issues, including the high costs of cancer care, and the pressing need for solutions. And again this year we were reminded of the importance of accuracy when it comes to reporting about celebrity cancer stories. Continue reading

5 Cancer Research Stories Worth Following – Fall 2015

Cancer research stories to follow this Fall include continuing developments in immune system therapies.What’s exciting in cancer research right now? In this post, I’ll review several of the most interesting cancer research stories that have been in the news this Fall.

These are a few of the recent stories that seem to have the greatest potential impact, at least from my perspective, and that I know I’ll want to follow as they develop further.

Stories to follow this Fall include the continuing developments in immune system therapies, the use of a gene assay to avoid unnecessary treatment and news of worsening trends in breast cancer disparities.
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Breast Cancer “Standard of Care”: Standard for All?

Many women diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States are not receiving what is considered to be "standard of care."When we look at the progress that has been made against breast cancer over the last twenty years, an essential measure is mortality, how many lives are actually being saved.

The big picture story is that mortality from breast cancer for the U.S. population as a whole has declined somewhat, but not nearly as much as might have been expected given the emphasis on screening over the last twenty years.

But looking deeper reveals an even more disturbing story. Continue reading

Breast Cancer “Awareness”: What is the Message?

How can we get to a more informed level of breast cancer awareness--the kind that will result in needed action to end deaths from the disease?Each year during the month of October we are more than ever bombarded with the pink ribbon. But what really is the purpose of all this “awareness” today–beyond selling pink-ribboned products?

Breast cancer screening through mammography has now become widespread, but misperceptions about the disease are also widespread.

How do we get to a more informed level of awareness–the kind of awareness that may better lead to the steps that need to be taken today to end deaths from this disease?

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