GREENWICH, Conn. -- A comprehensive study called "The Community Profile: An Assessment of Breast Cancer in Connecticut" found the highest numbers of new cases of breast cancer in the state are found in Stamford, Bridgeport, New Haven, Waterbury, Greenwich, West Hartford, Hartford, Norwalk, Fairfield, and Bristol.
The study was done by Susan G. Komen of Southern New England. At a recent event at the Capitol in Hartford, Dr. Mark Melendez, a Komen board member, described the study's main findings.
There are many underserved communities in Connecticut, he said, and many women are uncertain of how to access early health detection services. Melendez also said that taking time off from work is a major factor that impedes treatment for many women and that there is limited public transportation to medical centers for screening, treatment, and procedures.
"I was truly honored to have been a part of this event and to be part of this distinguished organization that is working to help women and men, in the fight against breast cancer, all over Connecticut," Melendez said. "Prevention, through regular mammograms and screenings, as well as through early treatment of breast cancer, are both extraordinarily important."
Melendez also noted Connecticut is one of the states with the highest number of women and men with breast cancer in the country. Unfortunately, many patients are not diagnosed due to missed screenings, lack of understanding of the importance of early detection and treatment, and a lack of access to health care due to financial constraints.
Melendez is a member of the Board of Directors of Susan G. Komen Southern New England and a member of the Connecticut Community Profile Team. He specializes in breast reconstruction surgery, including the DIEP flap procedure, for breast cancer patients and has offices in Fairfield, Shelton, and Greenwich, as well as privileges at seven Connecticut hospitals.
Last year, the organization gave $1.2 million to 18 Connecticut organizations, including St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport, Norwalk Hospital, Griffin Hospital in Derby, Hartford Hospital, the Norma P. Friem Breast Cancer Center in Fairfield, Stamford Hospital and Yale-New Haven Hospital.