Pioneering cancer prevention program launched in New York

24 Mar 2009

Ethnic groups targeted in cancer prospect and prevention study

A prevention program serving an ethnically diverse population of women at high risk of cancer is detailed this week in online peer-reviewed journal ecancer .

The article describes a screening program to identify women from underserved communities who are at a high risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer; a pilot clinical research initiative sponsored by The Lynne Cohen Cancer Screening and symposium Project for High Risk Women.

Despite the advances in cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survival, racial and ethnic minorities suffer disproportionately from cancer. Ethnic and racial minorities are often less likely to take part in screening programs than Caucasian patients.

The pilot project will constitute the core of a broad-based screening program in New York City and, ultimately, a world class Clinical service targeted to women at high risk for cancer, in particular, women of minority ethnic groups.

Dr Franco M. Muggia, Director of Medical Oncology at NYU's Langone medical Center will conduct the study at the Kaplan Cancer Center facilities. At Bellevue Hospital, the advanced services will be offered to 75 to 100 women who do not have access to normal medical screenings. Women referred to the program will receive state-of-the-art preventive care and early detection screening.

“Following a detailed family and personal history intake and physical exam, each woman on their initial visit is categorised into low (standard), high, and indeterminate risk groups. Women found to be at high risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer were referred for further testing, additional screening measures, or participation in chemoprevention trials” states Muggia.

Often women will not undergo screening procedures because of economic concerns, this program however, is completely free.

Continued and sustained efforts are needed on all fronts (education, practice, and research, policy) to improve the poor cancer-related outcomes for ethnic minorities.

Read the full paper at ecancer