BOSTON (WWLP) – October marks the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Tuesday at the State House was a briefing tackling inequities in health care.
Although Breast Cancer treatments have come a long way, inequities still exist. At the State House, advocates spoke on the needs patients face when seeking treatment and the resources out there to help.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 240,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in women and about 2,100 in men in the United States annually. However, both in the United States and in Massachusetts, Black women are much more likely to die from breast cancer than all other women.
The Ellie Fund provides support for all breast cancer patients who are receiving treatment in Massachusetts. According to the Executive Director of the Ellie Fund, in western Massachusetts, patients have difficulties with transportation and overnight accommodations if their treatment is far away.
“Those are all reasons why people delay treatment or people stop in the middle of treatment and don’t finish, don’t adhere to the treatment. That’s what we see in western Mass., is really transportation deserts and geographic distance.”
Doctor Beverly Moy from Massachusetts General Hospital says the latest guidelines state that women with an average risk of developing breast cancer should get screened at age 40. However, she stressed that you should talk to your doctor regarding your risk factors.
“Most breast cancers are curable, so if you detect it early, you treat it early, and you finish treatment, you can survive this disease.”
Now the Ellie Fund does not ask for any financial information, all patients receiving care in Massachusetts, even if you live out of state, can seek their services.