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Hospitals, groups focus on inequities in breast cancer treatment

Dr. Constance Lehman and her colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital worked to set up a program to routinely offer patients their mammography results right away.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

As a Massachusetts breast cancer organization that provides access to support services for patients in treatment, the Ellie Fund noticed a decline in requests for our services. Why, we wondered? In Massachusetts, there are nearly 7,000 new diagnoses yearly. Where were the patients? Delayed screenings were to blame, and the repercussions are detailed in Felice Freyer’s article “From the pandemic, faster screening for breast cancer” (Page A1, July 11).

Boston’s health care system is wise to focus on streamlining mammograms and follow-up not only to catch up from COVID-19-related fallout but also to address the inequity of breast cancer outcomes.


At the Ellie Fund, our priority is inclusion of all breast cancer patients statewide. We do not require any proof of financial need or residency, and we serve an extremely diverse group of patients. We are working to serve more underserved individuals by meeting patients where they work and live. If the diagnosis comes, we are ready to partner in our patient’s journey.

The logistical challenges are real, from food assistance to help with transportation and child care. We see the barriers to treatment every day.

Meredith Mendelson

Executive director

Ellie Fund