Our mission is to reduce breast cancer mortality in the metro Washington, DC area by promoting access to breast cancer screenings, diagnostics, and referrals for treatment to all, regardless of their ability to pay.
For over a decade Washington DC has had the unfortunate distinction of having some of the highest rates of breast cancer mortality in the country. The latest CDC statistics show the District of Columbia leading the nation in both breast cancer incidence rates (153.1 per 100,000 vs. the U.S. average of 122.0) and breast cancer mortality rates (26.3 per 100,000 vs. the U.S. average of 21.5). According to the District of Columbia Department of Health breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in the District of Columbia. The District’s Ward 8 where BCW is located has the highest incidence of breast cancer (173.9 per 100,000).
Although White women in the District are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than African American women, African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer than White women. The suburbs of Maryland and Virginia also have higher than average incidence rates of breast cancer with segments of the population ineligible for state-based health assistance. There is no mammography facility in District Ward 7 and the only other mammography facility in Ward 8 lacks 3D technology and does not routinely accept uninsured women.
Breast cancer screening in the District of Columbia takes place in an environment where a highly fragmented healthcare system is the current norm and patient care coordination is problematic. In addition, serious transportation barriers exist to medical care due to the geographic boundary created by the Anacostia River, which separates Wards 7 and 8 from the rest of the District. Breast Care for Washington was designed to address all of these problematic issues hindering women from receiving the breast care they need.