|The following article features coverage from the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2019 meeting. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s conference coverage.|
Could offering a same-day biopsy affect care disparities in patients with breast cancer? Yes, according to a group of researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston — and implementation of such a program could also help eliminate disparities in time to biopsy according to race (white vs non-white) and insurance (Medicare vs private/self-pay), noted Erica T. Warner, ScD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and MGH, in a discussion session following a presentation of an abstract by Matthew Seidler, MD.
The investigators set up the same-day pilot and logged all retrospective diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound exam data drawn from a single institution (across 663 individuals) leading up to the biopsy. They also looked at these records after implementation of the biopsy program (482 patients).
The number of days that elapsed between when breast biopsy was recommended and when it was performed fluctuated across the interventional group, but delays in this metric were specifically linked to patients who had government insurance or who were not white. In addition, “the magnitude of delay differs across minority groups,” the researchers wrote.
The same-day biopsy program successfully decreased time to diagnosis during two 6 month time periods in 2017 and 2018, and the intervention also decreased the duration of patient anxiety that is typically associated with waiting for test results.
Eleven patients were excluded from consideration because the gap between their initial screening and diagnostic evaluation exceeded 60 days.
In all, only 51% of women who were eligible for the same-day biopsy actually opted for the procedure, prompting Dr Turner to ask rhetorically: What are the institutional and patient barriers (or preferences) that impact uptake?
Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s coverage of ASCO’s annual meeting by visiting the conference page.
Seidler M, Dontchos BN, Mercaldo S, et al. Impact of a same-day biopsy program on disparities in time to biopsy. Presented at: 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting; Chicago, IL; May 31-June 4, 2019. Abstract 6508.