breastcancerOur Office of Cancer Prevention and Control has been awarded a contract from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) to continue exciting work on the Breast Cancer Learning Collaborative. In the first year, through some terrific research conducted by the Arizona Cancer Registry, we learned that African American, Native American, and Hispanic women experienced breast cancer differently than non-Hispanic white women. These populations are diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age and they are more likely to be diagnosed with more aggressive breast cancers, including triple negative breast cancer. Year one research and findings have been summarized in the report, Using Data to Reduce Disparities in Breast Cancer Mortality in Arizona.

Year two of the Breast Cancer Learning Community will focus on increasing breast cancer screening rates and improving the quality of services provided by reducing the time from abnormal screening result to diagnosis and then to treatment. In addition, Year two will train the ASTHO Core Team on the benefits of Project ECHO, an effort developed by the University of New Mexico that utilizes components similar to telemedicine to reach patients in rural, underserved areas.

Completing this work successfully will help Arizona achieve the objectives from the Arizona Cancer Control Plan and the Arizona Health Improvement Plan – Cancer Chapter. Accomplishing these goals is a collaborative process with dedicated community partners. So far the following organizations have committed resources and staff time: Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers, all of Arizona’s Federally Qualified Community Health Centers, Komen of Arizona, American Cancer Society, many of Arizona’s health plans (Health Net, Mercy Care, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Arizona Oncology, Cigna Health Plan), University of Arizona Cancer Center Dignity Health at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, Honor Health, and ASU College of Health Solutions.