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From Fred Hutch Cancer Center: “When it comes to health care, health equity and research, women truly are ‘part of the answer'”

July 3, 2024

In Fred Hutch Cancer Center’s Hutch News Stories:

“The DoD’s Breast Cancer Research Program was created by breast cancer advocates, by women who’ve actually had breast cancer,” [Dr. Cyrus] Ghajar said, pointing out how BCRP funds high-risk, high-reward research designed to change the course of breast cancer care, diagnosis and treatment over the next five to 10 years. “These are people who are motivated to actually move the needle.” The National Breast Cancer Coalition is composed of the patient advocates who started BCRP.

Ghajar said patient advocates grew tired of seeing others die of metastatic disease so they banded together and lobbied for more funding. Since that time, he said, advocates have gone on to create a whole ecosystem where they train other patients about epidemiology, immunology, genomics so they can work with researchers to better serve the cancer community.

“These advocates are on the BCRP panel along with scientists,” he said, “but they have the perspective of ‘I’ve been through treatment, I know what works and what doesn’t work, and I know what other people in my position want.’”

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