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Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta and Georgia CORE cosponsor luncheon to provide in-depth look at breast cancer disparities in metro Atlanta

1/20/2020, Atlanta Daily World

Susan G. Komen® Greater Atlanta and the Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education (Georgia CORE) sponsored a luncheon to present new research spotlighting urgent breast cancer disparities among women living in metro Atlanta and the steps needed to ensure health equity for all breast cancer patients. The findings were presented at the Georgia Society of Clinical Oncology’s (GASCO) San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, a gathering of breast cancer physicians, researchers and patient advocates held in Alpharetta on Saturday, January 11 to review recent advances and studies in breast cancer research.

Dr. Lauren McCullough, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, presented the findings along with an in-depth look at the research. Medical responses to the research were provided by Dr. Erin Bowman, a breast surgeon with Atlanta Breast Care and Dr. Roland Matthews, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Morehouse School of Medicine, vice chair of Georgia CORE, and a gynecologic oncologist and attending physician at Grady Memorial Hospital. (Pictured in the photo are, from left to right: Angie Patterson, Nancy Paris, and Dr. Roland Matthews, Georgia CORE; Dr. McCullough; Dr. Bowman; and Cati Stone, Theru Ross, Rick Aronson, Komen Atlanta.)

“There is a pronounced breast cancer mortality disparity in Atlanta when comparing African American women to Caucasian women,” said Dr. McCullough. “The current data, which is somewhat surprising, shows that the disparity is most prevalent among black women with a higher socioeconomic status that are diagnosed with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.”

To address the disparities in breast cancer outcomes, Dr. McCullough received over $445,000 in funding from Susan G. Komen to study the different factors that can lead to racial differences in breast cancer metastasis mortality.

“Dr. McCullough’s research is significant because it shows the disparity exists in a population that has insurance and access to care for a type of breast cancer for which there are targeted therapies with proven results,” said Cati Diamond Stone, CEO, Komen Atlanta. “This finding shows that access alone is not the biggest driver of disparities in Atlanta, which only furthers the need for additional research.”

Komen Atlanta and Georgia CORE share goals to prioritize health equity regarding access to care, navigation, treatment assistance and research in order to achieve a world without breast cancer.

“The experience-backed perspectives put forth by Drs. Bowman and Matthews demonstrate that differences in outcomes are not only about socio-economic status,” said Nancy Paris, President & CEO, Georgia CORE. “They exemplify that there are best practices for providing care, support and practical services, and further research is needed to address disparities and truly advance cancer care for all Georgians.”

Komen Atlanta is hosting their seventh annual signature fundraising cocktail party, Bubbles & Bling, on Saturday, February 29. The support and donations from this year’s event will be invested in work to achieve health equity for African American women in the metro Atlanta community.

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Georgia CORE is a public-private partnership that creates collaboration among the state’s cancer organizations and institutions to connect more Georgians to quality, personalized cancer care. We welcome you to this one-of-a-kind online information center for all things related to cancer and survivorship care in Georgia.