A pilot survey of access to breast cancer treatment in Guyana Barton, Anise
In this pilot survey, we attempted to determine the resources available in Guyana for the treatment of breast cancer using a survey of health care professionals involved in breast cancer care. Due to limitations related to COVID delays, and closure of the research ethics board in Guyana, we were unable to perform the survey as planned. However, the survey was administered to the general surgery residents at Georgetown Public Hospital in Guyana, and the limited results are compiled in this report. Patient related factors impacting the access to breast cancer care include lack of knowledge and education along with cultural beliefs, resulting in delayed presentation. Institutional limitations to breast cancer care in Guyana include the lack of publicly funded radiation therapy, limited medical oncology resources, the lack of a multidisciplinary team, the lack of pre-operative receptor status, delays in pathology results, lack of sentinel lymph node dissection (SLND), and delayed access to the operating room. In the past six months since the survey was administered, several positive steps have been made to move towards earlier detection and treatment, including a screening program, core biopsies being done by radiology, and proposals for a breast clinic and implementing SLND.
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