Comorbidity Management in Black Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer: the Role of Primary Care in Shared Care

In 2020, an estimated 276,480 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Black women with a breast cancer diagnosis in particular, are more likely to have a comorbidity, such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Comprehensive disease management requires a coordinated team of healthcare professionals including primary care practitioners, but few studies have examined shared care in the management of comorbidities during cancer care, especially among racial/ethnic minorities. Thus, this study examined whether the type of medical team composition is associated with optimal clinical care management of comorbidities. Results demonstrated that primary care providers were the main providers involved in managing comorbidities and 90% of patients received shared care during breast cancer care. However, only 54% had optimal comorbidity management. Additionally, patients with shared care were five times more likely to have optimal comorbidity management compared with patients who only saw cancer specialists. These findings highlight the importance of shared care, and may promote optimal clinical care management and clinical outcomes of diabetes and hypertension especially for Black women who disproportionately bear the burden of these comorbidities.

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