Greenwich Hospital will launch a new physician education program to help all doctors recognize potential early signs of breast and ovarian cancer in an effort to diagnose both diseases much sooner.
Called the MAT Education Program, the curriculum was developed by physicians at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven and Yale Cancer Center at the behest of Greenwich resident Kaile Josephs Zagger who lost her mother, Marilyn Ann Trahan (MAT) 20 years ago to ovarian cancer.
First Selectman Peter J. Tesei fully supports this educational effort and recognized the program launch by issuing a proclamation declaring May 1 as ‘MAT Education Awareness Day.’ “I believe that as a Town, we can be proud of the efforts that are being undertaken by Greenwich Hospital and Kaile Zagger and look forward to seeing the positive impact this educational program for physicians will have on our residents.”
The goal of the MAT educational program is to identify women at elevated risk of breast or ovarian cancer, or those who may show initial signs of the diseases sooner – at their primary care physician’s office or at a specialists’ office. Women often report vague signs and symptoms and with more education, non-oncology physicians can learn about the more unusual signs in order to prevent the diseases or at a minimum, reduce the number of women diagnosed at Stage 3 or 4.
Elena Ratner, MD, associate professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Science at the Yale School of Medicine and clinical leader for the Gynecological Oncology Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital, developed the curriculum with her colleagues at Smilow Cancer Hospital, which she will roll out to Greenwich Hospital physicians during Grand Rounds. This first in-kind curriculum will be accompanied by a pre- and post-assessment of skills.
“We are extremely pleased to be partnering with Kaile, Smilow Cancer Hospital and Greenwich community organizations to help see their vision for prevention and earlier detection become a reality,” said Norman G. Roth, president and CEO of Greenwich Hospital. “Dr. Ratner is an expert in gynecological cancer and has worked diligently to raise awareness of early detection. This program will further her efforts in an innovative educational platform.”
In the U.S. last year nearly 300,000 new cases of breast and ovarian cancer were diagnosed and of those 55,000 women died. Ovarian Cancer is particularly difficult to recognize in its early stages and therefore the rate of death is the highest among all female reproductive cancers. Powered by Smilow Cancer Hospital’s Discovery to Cure, with the vision of Ms. Zagger and the support of Greenwich Hospital, this educational program will be offered free of charge to all Greenwich Hospital affiliated physicians.
The MAT Education Program is being launched in Greenwich in partnership with executive leadership from the Breast Cancer Alliance, the YWCA of Greenwich and the UJA JCC. These three organizations are the cornerstones and advocates for women’s health in Greenwich and are fiercely committed to the success and adherence to this platform within the medical community and Greenwich Hospital in order that the lives of Greenwich women are protected.