ChristianaCare Expands No-Cost Breast Cancer Screenings for Income-Eligible Delawareans in Partnership With Susan G. Komen®

Nicholas Petrelli, M.D.

ChristianaCare’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute is partnering with Susan G. Komen®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, in an expansion of Komen’s screening and diagnostics program to income-eligible residents of Delaware.

Under the program, Delaware women who meet income qualifications will be able to access no-cost breast cancer screening mammograms and necessary diagnostic follow-up tests. Once approved by Susan G. Komen for care, they can select ChristianaCare for services.

ChristianaCare is one of 20 health systems nationwide partnering with Susan G. Komen in the program, which seeks to reduce disparities in areas where the breast cancer mortality gap between Black and white women is the greatest.

Contact the Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877-465-6636 or to learn more.

“The Graham Cancer Center is proud of its longstanding partnership with Susan G. Komen to bring breast cancer screenings to our community and to reduce disparities and save lives,” said Nicholas Petrelli, M.D., Bank of America endowed medical director of the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute.

“This new partnership with Komen is an innovative way that we are stronger together as we continue to reduce barriers to care and help more Delaware women access timely breast imaging and treatment,” he said.

Nora Katurakes, MSN, RN, OCN

“The screening and diagnostics program is critical for individuals who may have been putting off their breast cancer screening due to concerns about cost,” said Nora Katurakes, MSN, RN, OCN, manager of the Graham Cancer Center’s Community Outreach & Education program.

“Early detection saves lives, and cost should not be a barrier to accessing high-quality health care services for anyone in need. This program seeks to achieve health equity for all.”

According to the Delaware Division of Public Health, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed among women in Delaware, and Black women are disproportionately more affected by breast cancer than white and Hispanic women and have a higher mortality rate. In addition, Black women in Delaware have among the highest incidence rates in the U.S. of triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease that is harder to treat and more likely to return.

The Komen screening and diagnostics program is a service provided through the Komen Patient Care Center. Last year, Susan G. Komen provided nearly 3,000 screening and diagnostics services. Komen hopes to serve another 3,000 individuals in 2023.

To be eligible for the program, individuals must have a current annual household income at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. For one person that is $43,740. A two-person family must have a $59,160 household income or less to be eligible.

“This program seeks to achieve health equity for all.”

— Nora Katurakas, MSN, RN, OCN

The Tatiana Copeland Breast Center at the Graham Cancer Center is one of the few facilities in the region devoted exclusively to breast care, diagnosis and treatment, and was the first center in the state to offer high-definition 3D mammography imaging.

About breast cancer screening

Screening mammography tests are used to find breast cancer before it causes any warning signs or symptoms. Regular screening tests along with follow-up tests and treatment, if diagnosed, reduce an individual’s chance of dying from breast cancer.

Mammography is a test that uses X-rays to create images of the breast. These images are called mammograms. A radiologist trained to read mammograms studies the images and looks for signs of breast cancer.

A mammogram may show:

  • No signs of breast cancer.
  • A benign (not cancer) condition or other change that does not suggest cancer.
  • An abnormal finding that needs follow-up tests to rule out cancer.

Income-eligible people seeking access to a breast cancer screening mammogram or diagnostic service should contact the Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877-465-6636 or to learn more.

Individuals who would like more information about breast cancer screening in Delaware can also call ChristianaCare Community Health Outreach & Education at 302-623-4661.