Dr. Birrer on Patient Preferences for Cervical Cancer Treatment

Michael Birrer, MD, PhD
Published Online: Thursday, Dec 29, 2016



Michael Birrer, MD, PhD, director of Medical Gynecologic Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses patient preferences for cervical cancer treatment, as well as the demographics of this population.

The cervical cancer patient population is very skewed to those of a minority population, Birrer explains. This is likely to do with sexual activity and lack of health care, or no access to health care. Therefore, this creates a very challenging population.

It is also possible, he adds, that these patients might also not regularly follow up on medical visits for their disease. Though they may undergo an initial visit and/or cervical cancer screening and a preinvasive lesion is detected, patients may not show up to their additional follow-up appointments to treat or monitor the cancer. Currenty, physicians and clinics do not have the infrastructure necessary to address these underserved populations, Birrer explains.


Michael Birrer, MD, PhD, director of Medical Gynecologic Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses patient preferences for cervical cancer treatment, as well as the demographics of this population.

The cervical cancer patient population is very skewed to those of a minority population, Birrer explains. This is likely to do with sexual activity and lack of health care, or no access to health care. Therefore, this creates a very challenging population.

It is also possible, he adds, that these patients might also not regularly follow up on medical visits for their disease. Though they may undergo an initial visit and/or cervical cancer screening and a preinvasive lesion is detected, patients may not show up to their additional follow-up appointments to treat or monitor the cancer. Currenty, physicians and clinics do not have the infrastructure necessary to address these underserved populations, Birrer explains.

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