Reducing breast cancer disparities and barriers to care

Rich Preyer and Marilyn Jacobs Preyer

As an advocate for breast cancer research and health equity, Marilyn Jacobs Preyer ’82 of Hillsborough, North Carolina, always felt fortunate to have access to high-quality health care at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. As a breast cancer survivor, she wants to ensure everyone has the same opportunities and access to care that she received. “It always stayed with me how fortunate I was to have this access,” she said.

Jacobs Preyer and her husband, Rich Preyer, donated $1 million to support the latest phase of UNC Lineberger’s Carolina Breast Cancer Study, which is investigating how the causes, treatments and long-term outcomes of breast cancer differ between Black women and white women. Launched 28 years ago, the study is the largest-ever population-based study of breast cancer in North Carolina and one of the largest in the world.

Each year more than 6,000 women in North Carolina will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and more than 1,000 will die from the disease according to NC Department of Health and Human Services. Although this number remains high, the good news is that advances in research are leading to improvements in both incidence rates and long-term survival.

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