Carolyn, NC – A recently reevaluated study by UNC Breast Cancer Center researchers publishes in Annals of Oncology today was conducted and reveals the findings of the NCI-designated Community Poll on Healthy Women of the U.S. Breast cancer, making it the first comprehensive retrospective analysis of community survey participants in this vulnerable population during the ongoing response to a challenging breast cancer diagnosis.
“Our team’s extensive cancer research is a crucial factor in the success of our cancer center,” said Brian Waterman, MD, an Affiliate Director at the UNC School of Medicine, who helped conduct the study together with a team led by Kristin Vines, MD, who was the principal investigator, and Sue Martin, PhD; the Center’s Director and CEO. “This study highlights the importance of electing to offer breast cancer care options to healthy women from a diverse range of backgrounds who live in our neighborhood, and particularly considering the absence of informal coverage. Using the latest cancer care models, our research team will continue to champion the importance of implementing meaningful interventions at every stage of a patient’s cancer journey.”
The study was led by Carine Taylor, PhD, and included a total of 100 women who were surveyed in the Wake Forest Breast Cancer Center-Duke Health screening trial. A follow-up analysis was also conducted to evaluate women who enrolled in the NCI-designated cancer clinics in South and Central Carolina. “The survey by Carol A. Miller Commercial Health was adapted to a greater Washington County population using the online research template from the Office of the DMN, a patient navigator at the DC Board of Health and Dental Patients Assembly,” said Audrey Silverman, DE, FAAN, UNC Breast Cancer Center Director. “The combined weight of the two studies was extremely important.”
Focusing on 11 cancer types with varying data and treatment landscape, 52 percent of respondents said they received care from three or more community clinics, while 32 percent underwent care from two clinics and 14 percent from one clinic. As part of the surveys, participants reported their satisfaction with care supporting their diagnosis or progression of cancer. The majority of respondents (71 percent) were satisfied with the quality of the care they received and indicated improvements to their overall health. The vast majority of participants (94 percent) said changes to the care they received changed their perception of the care performed.
Respondents indicated improvements were multifaceted. Sexual assault was the most common reason respondents cited in choosing community care, followed by physical abuse and discrimination, followed by screenings, followed by communication barriers. Nearly one-third (31 percent) cited lack of communication as the single reason they chose community care.
“What surprised us was the affirmation our community survey participants found with the response they’d found,” said Waterman. “They now understand that there were barriers to breast cancer care in Wake Forest, and that barriers made them choose community cancer care. We can’t thank the survey participants enough for being great to share their concerns at this critical time in their lives.”