Having an annual physical exam and being screened for breast or cervical cancer gives women a chance to uncover potential health problems, but despite the availability of government-funded check-ups, many low-income and uninsured women don’t visit a doctor early enough to prevent serious health issues.
Two studies by Rutgers University‒Camden nursing professor Bonnie Jerome-D’Emilia reveal interesting information about the type and quality of care that low-income and uninsured breast cancer patients receive.
A study led by Jerome-D’Emilia evaluated five years of breast cancer data from Cooper University Hospital, comparing a patient’s stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis to determine the effectiveness of the New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection program (NJCEED).
From 2004 to 2009, 1,040 women were diagnosed with and treated for breast cancer at the hospital; 78 of these women were diagnosed through the NJCEED program at that site.
In the study, “Breast Cancer Stage at Diagnosis in a New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection Site,” Jerome-D’Emilia and her co-authors write, “Racial and ethnic minority women continue to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a later stage and with greater tumor size and higher-grade tumors, important predictors of cancer mortality.”