Dr. Birrer on Challenges With Patient Demographics in Cervical Cancer

Michael Birrer, MD, PhD
Published Online: Wednesday, Jan 04, 2017



Michael Birrer, MD, PhD, director of Medical Gynecologic Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the challenges associated with the patient demographics of cervical cancer.

A majority of patients with cervical cancer are of underserved areas and likely do not have access to health care, Birrer explains. Moreover, this becomes a special population to treat. There are several inner-city medical centers that are stressed and overloaded with these patients, as well as those who come in for follow-up visits. At this point, many of these patients have advanced disease.

Even then, patients still fall through the cracks and are not optimally treated as a result of cultural, health, and insurance issues. This is because they prefer to avoid chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This is partly why this becomes a very difficult-to-treat population, he says.
 


Michael Birrer, MD, PhD, director of Medical Gynecologic Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses the challenges associated with the patient demographics of cervical cancer.

A majority of patients with cervical cancer are of underserved areas and likely do not have access to health care, Birrer explains. Moreover, this becomes a special population to treat. There are several inner-city medical centers that are stressed and overloaded with these patients, as well as those who come in for follow-up visits. At this point, many of these patients have advanced disease.

Even then, patients still fall through the cracks and are not optimally treated as a result of cultural, health, and insurance issues. This is because they prefer to avoid chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This is partly why this becomes a very difficult-to-treat population, he says.
 

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