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Breast Cancer Policy Forum Highlights How Policies Impact Survival Rates
The public is invited to a free breast cancer policy forum to discuss the disparities that impact African American women in Memphis and how better government policies concerning breast cancer can help save lives.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This breast cancer policy forum is the first in Memphis to focus specifically on disparities concerning this disease. Breast cancer affects approximately one in eight women in the United States and 85% of breast cancers occur in women with no family history of the disease. With early detection and treatment, the relative 5-year survival rate for women in the United States is currently 100%. Memphis has the highest rate of disparities among African American women. These women die at more than two times the rate of White women. The National AVON study done in 2014, noted this trend in Memphis as the worst of 40 large cities. The disparity gap has doubled over the last 25 years. MBCC has developed a plan to combat this that includes education/awareness, mammogram capacity, treatment capacity, the care process, policy and quality of care. During the policy forum, findings from a review conducted by M. Paige Powell, PhD at The University of Memphis School of Public Health will be presented and discussed with a panel of health care professionals and a breast cancer survivor. The research highlights how breast cancer policies in Tennessee compare to those in other states. The panelists will include Brenda B. Kyles Shelby County Health Department Manager of TN Breast & Cervical Cancer, ── TennCare Presumptive;
The Patient Advocate Foundation is a sponsor of this forum and Executive Vice President of Health Equity Initiatives and Community Engagement Shonta Chambers says policy and quality health care go hand in hand. "Here at the Patient Advocate Foundation, we are keenly aware of the disparities in Tennessee, and we realize that much of the efforts around education can only be sustained by aligning policy efforts to makes sure systems that support women are in place. We believe policy will give us sustainability that we really need to impact these disparities for the long term. Now is the perfect time to have these conversations about how do we systemically develop health care systems that benefit all women but especially African American women that impact them from early detection and screening through diagnosis and treatment all the way through survival ship."
The Memphis Breast Cancer Consortium is a community partnership lead by the Common Table Health Alliance that was launched in 2016 (funded by the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade) to bring together organizations and individuals committed to the fight against breast cancer inequalities in Memphis and Shelby County. There are currently 31 member organizations that make up MBCC. Common Table Health Alliance has been spearheading the conversation about how to reduce health care disparities in Memphis and Shelby County for quite some time. In 2011, they published Shelby County's first and only health equity report identifying areas of care in Memphis where health disparities exist and suggestions on how to reduce them.
This policy forum is the first of several to come that will be used to educate the public about health equity and various social determinates of health that negativity impacts our region. The sponsors of the policy forum are the Patient Advocacy Foundation, AVON Breast Cancer Cascade and FOX 13 Family Focus. For more information, contact the Common Table Health Alliance at 901.684.6011 or visit www.commontablehealth.org.