Program addresses disparities in breast cancer between Black and white women
(WILMINGTON, Del. – June 5, 2023)
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.
“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.
“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, 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 to be eligible.
The Tatiana Copeland Breast Center at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, ChristianaCare is one of the country’s most dynamic health care organizations, centered on improving health outcomes, making high-quality care more accessible and lowering health care costs. ChristianaCare includes an extensive network of primary care and outpatient services, home health care, urgent care centers, three hospitals (1,430 beds), a freestanding emergency department, a Level I trauma center and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, a comprehensive stroke center and regional centers of excellence in heart and vascular care, cancer care and women’s health. It also includes the pioneering Gene Editing Institute.
ChristianaCare is nationally recognized as a great place to work, rated by Forbes as the 2nd best health system for diversity and inclusion, and the 29th best health system to work for in the United States, and by IDG Computerworld as one of the nation’s Best Places to Work in IT. ChristianaCare is rated by Healthgrades as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals and continually ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek and other national quality ratings. ChristianaCare is a nonprofit teaching health system with more than 260 residents and fellows. With its groundbreaking Center for Virtual Health and a focus on population health and value-based care, ChristianaCare is shaping the future of health care.
About the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute
The Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, a National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program, is part of the ChristianaCare, one of the country’s most dynamic health systems, centered on improving health outcomes, making high-quality care more accessible and lowering health care costs. With more than 245,000 patient visits last year, the Graham Cancer Center is recognized as a national model for multidisciplinary cancer care and a top enroller in U.S. clinical research trials. In conjunction with the Gene Editing Institute, the Center for Translational Cancer Research, the Tissue Procurement Center, statewide High-Risk Family Cancer Registry and collaborations with world-renowned scientists at facilities such as The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia scientists are opening new avenues to more quickly translate cancer science into cancer medicine. For more information, visit christianacare.org/cancer.