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Removing Barriers to Breast Cancer Care


An Abramson Cancer Center Penn breast cancer patient was once overheard saying:

There is only one thing worse than having cancer – not being able to afford it.

Financial cost remains a barrier to cancer screenings - and cancer treatment itself - among low-income women. While multiple factors contribute to racial and socioeconomic disparities in breast cancer death rates, a lower utilization of mammograms is consistently one of them.

Compounding the problem is the continuing debate over what age and how often women should get mammograms. The American Cancer Society's recommendations remain at odds with the latest guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. The Task Force recommends that routine screenings for average-risk women begin at age 50 and continue to be given every two years, instead of yearly mammograms beginning at age 40.

While the debate continues on, one thing remains constant. Mammograms remain the best, "first-line-of-defense" screening test available for the early detection of breast cancer. 

In an effort to help women in need and also ultimately save lives, Ari D. Brooks, MD, director of the Integrated Breast Center and Endocrine and Oncologic Surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital, and Carmen Guerra, MD, MSCE, FACP, associate professor of Medicine and associate chief of staff of the Abramson Cancer Center, and president of the East Central Division of the American Cancer Society, teamed up to create a grassroots program, the Penn Medicine Breast Health Initiative (PMBHI).

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Don’t Forget: To Spread the Light of Knowledge

Celebrate the 250th birthday of the nation’s first medical school – the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania – with a limited-edition book filled with nearly 200 pages of history. Illustrated with many archival docu...Full story

A Model of Enthusiasm and Kindness

Each year, HUP recognizes the many ways unit secretaries improve the experience of both patients and families, as well as staff. An important part of this celebration is announcing the winner of the Helen Lysun Award. This year’s winner is ...Full story

Drs. Bennett and Maguire Named 2015 Hospital Heroes

By Rebecca Salowe On Friday, March 20, 2015, Dr. Jean Bennett and Dr. Albert Maguire were celebrated at the 14th Annual Penn Presbyterian Medical Center (PPMC) Fundraising Gala as PPMC’s Hospital Heroes of 2015. Every year, PPMC selects a...Full story

The Pennsylvania Hospital Auxiliary Labor of Love, Legacy of Support

Auxillary PAH
Women have not always received their due credit throughout history, including the history of health care. In this issue of What’s New, we’re celebrating the rich history and legacy of the Pennsylvania Hospital Auxiliary. From the women in 1...Full story

How Cool is That!

Take Your Child to Work Day a Big Success *How do you insert a tube into a patient’s stomach? * How does the hyperbaric chamber work? *How much effort does it take to do CPR? These were just three of the many things HUP kids learned at...Full story

A Peek Under the Counter of PAH’s New Outpatient Pharmacy

Apothecary. Drug Store. Pharmacy. No matter what you call them, they do the same, vitally important thing:prepare and dispense medicine. Over time, the local pharmacy has become a community staple, expanding to provide more and more heal...Full story

Read to Succeed

“The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more you learn. The more places you’ll go!” These words by the late Theodor Seuss Geisel (know better as Dr. Seuss), are in line with the mission of the West Philadelphia Alliance ...Full story

New Pup Raises Spirits of Rad Onc Patients

After being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in Oct 2010, Kim Vernick came to Penn for a clinical trial, undergoing radiation and three kinds of chemotherapy – as well as surgery – to fight the deadly disease. But this type of cancer is one...Full story

Holy Patient Safety, Batman! We’re All Superheros!

PPMC held its annual Patient Safety Fair last month. The creative, fun and informative displays based on this year’s super hero theme, focused on the importance of a just culture. More than 600 faculty and staff from the day and night shift...Full story

Doing Both His Families Proud

Anyone who works at a hospital, especially one that has been operating in virtually the same location for the past almost 264 years, will come to realize two things: Hospitals truly are pillars of the communities in which they’re located ...Full story

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