Study says more women in metro area at high risk for breast cancer

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 10:03 am

A community profile conducted by the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Milwaukee affiliate indicated that more women in Milwaukee, Racine and Waukesha counties are putting off needed preventative breast cancer screenings due to economic hardships and changing health insurance plans.

"Prevention in these economic times kind of falls by the wayside," said Jessica Bergstrom, associate researcher for the Center for Urban Population Health, a partnership of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Aurora Health Care, and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, which collected and analyzed data for the profile.

The study covered the Komen affiliate’s eight-county area of southeastern Wisconsin. In addition to numerical data, researchers conducted 23 interviews with key informants to get a fuller picture of the data. Milwaukee, Racine and Waukesha were identified as key target areas of focus for the next two years.

According to Bergstrom, the results indicated that health care providers are concerned about their patients’ ability to get screening or testing, and the purpose of the study is to help prompt remedies for some of those concerns.

The results will be used by the Komen affiliate to direct its funding over the next two years and to help identify the community’s greatest needs, Bergstrom said.

In southeastern Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Waukesha and Racine Counties have  the most number of women being diagnosed and dying from breast cancer.

“The stakes are enormous for women in southeastern Wisconsin,” said Sally Sheperdson, executive director of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Milwaukee Affiliate. “In our service area alone, there will be more than 1,300 women diagnosed with breast cancer by the end of 2009. More than 260 women will die. These numbers are quite simply unacceptable. The Milwaukee Affiliate’s plan to address these devastating numbers is straightforward. We will continue to support programs which provide access to services and breast health education, so more women are getting mammograms, being diagnosed early, and surviving longer.”

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