Identifying and addressing obstacles that kept patients from finishing radiation treatments for early-stage breast cancer erases the survival gap between Black and white patients, according to a new study led by Matthew A. Manning, MD (above), a radiation oncologist in Greensboro, North Carolina.
The changes included an electronic health record with automatic alerts to flag missed appointments or unmet milestones in expected care; a nurse navigator trained in race-specific barriers to help patients overcome obstacles to care when alerts are flagged; a physician champion, to engage health care teams with race-related feedback on treatment completion; and regular health equity education training sessions for staff.
Prior to the intervention, the five-year survival rate for Black patients with breast cancer was 89%, compared to 91% for white patients. After the system-level changes were initiated, five-year survival rates for both groups rose to 94%.
The study findings were presented at the 2021 annual meeting of the Anerican Society for Radiation Oncology.
See “Intervention erases Black-white survival gaps in early-stage lung and breast cancer patients” in the News-Medical.Net website (October 25, 2021)