Each October brings an important time, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and with it comes vital messages about screenings for breast cancer, along with education about risk factors and symptoms. One issue that doesn’t always get enough discussion is what happens right after a diagnosis. In fact, the timeliness of care delivery after diagnosis is an emerging quality indicator in breast cancer care, particularly when it comes to survival.
Research now suggests that delays in starting therapy after a breast cancer diagnosis lead to detrimental effects. One expert group, the Commission on Cancer, identifies a quality metric (in patients younger than age 70) of being the start of systemic chemotherapy within 120 days of diagnosis in those with hormone receptor-negative cancer.
When this time period goes past 120 days, there is evidence of a 29% reduction in overall survival. Timely care is just that critical. Fortunately, most women make this 120 day threshold (in fact, 89% of women make it).
When the times are extended past 120 days, the reasons tend to fall into these categories:
- Poor access to care
- Longer wait times for a second opinion
- Coordination time necessary for immediate reconstruction
On the patient’s end, delays of more 120 days to start treatment correlate with:
- Comorbidity score
- Being black
- Not having private insurance
BioPlus Specialty Pharmacy understands how important it is to keep things moving through the steps of diagnosis to prescription to treatment, which is why we are committed to being faster than other pharmacies. We accomplish this with our 2-hour, 2-day, 2-click promises.
It starts with the 2-Hour Patient Acceptance Guarantee™, which ensures notification to physician offices in less than two hours whether a referred patient is accepted for treatment or not. After that, prescriptions move to the 2-Day Ready 2 Ship™ process. Throughout this process, our patient financial assistance department helps ensure that financial issues don’t stand in the way of patient treatment. And, it takes patients only two clicks to refill their qualifying prescriptions online.
Breast Cancer By the Numbers
- 2nd most common type of cancer in women (after skin cancer)
- 1 in 8 women born in the U.S. today will get breast cancer at some point in their lives
- 1 in 3 cancer diagnoses in women will be for breast cancer
- 3.1 million U.S. women are alive today with a history of breast cancer (in other words, it can be survivable!)
Kupstas AR, Hoskin TL, Day CN, Habermann EB, Boughey JC. Effect of surgery type on time to adjuvant chemotherapy and impact of delay on breast cancer survival: a National Cancer Database Analysis. Ann Surg Oncol Published online July 22, 2019.