Skip to Content

Published on October 11, 2017

Breast Cancer Awareness: Screenings and Clinical Trials

Breast Cancer AwarenessThe Comet Study

The Comparison of Operative Monitoring and Endocrine Therapy for low-risk DCIS (COMET) study is a clinical trial that looks at different treatment choices for patients with ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS. DCIS is a non-invasive, pre-cancerous breast condition where cells that do not appear to be normal are found in the milk ducts. The risk of DCIS developing into breast cancer can range from ten to thirty percent, and this trial was designed to learn more about the best treatment methods for low-risk patients.

For many years, all DCIS cases were treated the same – with surgery and in some cases radiation and hormonal therapy. Recently, researchers have questioned whether women with low-risk DCIS would do just as well being actively monitored by a physician, reducing the need for surgery. The study will compare the outcomes of DCIS patients that receive immediate surgery and those that are actively monitored by a physician without surgery. Each participant will receive a mammogram every six months, and if any changes are found, their case will be re-evaluated and treated based on the new evaluation. Participating patients can talk to their physician about changing their treatment at any time.

Dr. Vinay Gudena, a medical oncologist at the Cone Health Cancer Center, spoke on Fox 8 House Call about the Comet Study, a new breast cancer clinical trial available at Cone Health.

Breast Cancer Screenings

The experts at the Cone Health Cancer Center treat more cases of breast cancer than any other type. Mammograms are a crucial part of early breast cancer detection, but not all women can afford to have one regularly. To help those women in our community, Cone Health supports the Mammography Scholarship Fund, which provides free or reduced cost screening mammograms to women who otherwise might not be able to afford one. You may qualify if you:

  • Are age 40 or older
  • Don’t have insurance and aren’t eligible for Medicare or Medicaid
  • Have a household income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level

To apply, download and complete an application for the Mammography Scholarship Fund online.

If you’re experiencing significant symptoms, such as a lump or nipple discharge, contact the North Carolina Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP) to learn about financial assistance for diagnostic services. To register for an upcoming screening, call (336) 832-8000 or to make an appointment with the BCCCP call (336) 832-0628.

Christine Brannock, the oncology outreach manager at the Cone Health Cancer Center, spoke on Fox 8 House Call about breast cancer screening resources available to women.