Cancer Center of Indiana Earns Komen Grant to Increase Early Detection of Breast Cancer

April 18, 2011

The Cancer Center of Indiana has received a $50,000 grant from the Louisville Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® to launch a comprehensive community initiative to increase the early detection of breast cancer through education and reduction of barriers to mammography screenings and treatment.

“The best defense against breast cancer is early detection,” said Gina Borden, RN, and director of the Cancer Center of Indiana. “Our intention is to improve breast cancer outcomes by reaching out to women to educate them on the importance of regular self-exams and mammograms and to help them navigate and access breast health services to increase adherence to breast cancer protocols.”

Through this grant, the Cancer Center of Indiana, in partnership with the Hispanic Connection and the New Albany Housing Authority, will provide outreach, education and assistance to reduce health disparities and improve the outcomes of patients with breast cancer in Floyd and surrounding counties. The initiative will include a Breast Cancer Navigator/Educator to provide community educational programs and individualized risk assessments for low income individuals, minorities and those at high risk of breast cancer.

“Unlike other programs where the Educator and Navigator roles are separate, we are combining these roles into one Navigator/Educator, so women will have a consistent advocate and contact person throughout the educational, screening and treatment process,” said Borden.

The Cancer Center of Indiana’s Navigator/Educator will help women overcome obstacles to screenings, such as transportation,insurance, language barrier or fear of a breast cancer diagnosis. The one-to-one outreach will be supported by a “Mammograms (Mamografias) Save Lives” media campaign.

“Getting the appropriate screening and treatment at the appropriate time is critical,” said Carolyn Day, MD, FACS, board certified general surgeon and Floyd Memorial Hospital medical staff member. “Early detection of breast cancer increases treatment options and when cancer is caught before it reaches the later stages, there is an excellent chance to preserve the breast.”

“We are very excited about this grant and what it will mean to families in the region,” said Naveed Chowhan, MD, FACP, board certified medical oncologist and hematologist and medical director of the Cancer Center of Indiana. “We want to change patterns of behavior by educating women and men on the importance of taking an active role in their breast health. This is critical for all, but particularly for African-American and Latina women, who are now less likely to be screened compared to other ethnicities.”

The Cancer Center of Indiana provides a comprehensive approach to cancer treatment by offering both medical and radiation oncology in one convenient location. Along with using a combination of both traditional and alternative cancer treatments, it offers a complete array of diagnostic and treatment technology including an on-site PET/CT Scan. The Cancer Center of Indiana is the second leading cancer research organization in Indiana outside the university setting.