Roswell Park Cancer Institute, one of America's oldest cancer centers, performs cancer research in breast cancer across the entire spectrum of the disease, ranging from very basic scientific research to treatment of local and very advanced disease.
One of the areas where we're putting special effort is in understanding how to improve the quality of cancer care.
We believe that by improving the quality of care, we can save as many lives in the short term as we expect to be able to save through basic research in the long term.
Unfortunately many Americans do not receive the best quality care; this occurs for many reasons, including patient factors, understanding on doctors' parts, and systems issues in hospitals and medical care systems that lead to things falling through the cracks.
Systems to help doctors do a better job should improve the quality of care. One example is a study we conducted here in western New York.
We worked with a large primary care group to look at the follow-up of women who had an abnormal finding on mammogram.
Nationally, we know that about 15 percent of women who have an abnormal finding on mammogram do not get the appropriate care.
We initiated a program to monitor this and to notify doctors if their patients did not get the recommended care; by doing so, we markedly reduced the percentage of women who did not get appropriate care.
Through this and similar mechanisms in collaboration with doctors, large health systems, and insurance companies, we expect that we'll be able to improve the quality of care and save many lives.