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’Improving Access to Breast Health Services’ by Castellanos

Purpose of Article

From the article, it is clear that the authors wanted to insinuate that access to breast health services among populations, especially women, is of fundamental importance in fighting breast cancer. The article further purposed to show that inexpensive intervention strategies such as the stated comprehensive breast center model can greatly enhance access to breast care services. Still, the article purposed to show that community-based initiatives can greatly assist to bring quality breast health services, thereby enhancing the uptake of such services (Castellanos et al, 2008).

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Relevancy of Article

The article is testimony to the fact that various intervention measures such as mammography are indeed effective in screening and detecting suspicious breast tumors. The article reveals that cancers detection by evaluating clinical symptoms is way less effective than detection by screening mammography. According to Castellanos et al (2008), “…cancer detection on screening [mammography] increased from 3.2 per 1,000 in 2002 to 5.2 per 1,000 in 2003” (p. 353). The mammography and ultrasound interventions, according to the article, have the capacity to identify node-negative cases after the screening, signifying that they are efficient modalities.

List of Key Concepts

When access to breast health services are improved using integrated approaches such as the comprehensive breast center model:

  • Screening volume increases
  • Wait time for screening declines
  • Cancer detection rates are enhanced
  • Patient satisfaction increases

Other key concepts presented by the article include:

  • Current access for screening is inadequate
  • Inadequate personnel in health facilities due to legal concerns and comparatively low financial reimbursement for services rendered by radiologists
  • Modest resource allocation coupled with a strong organizational structure can greatly assist to improve breast care services
  • Demographic and outcome data arising from screening is vital
  • The collaboration of community-based organizations can greatly assist to improve access to breast care services

Strengths and Weakness

One of the strengths of the article is that it offers quantitative data to back its claims about the success of the interdisciplinary model of care. Quantitative data are important especially when performing comparative analysis on the subjects (Sekaran, 2006). Second, there is an effective blending of the literature review and the interpretation of the study results, providing the reader with a smooth and chronological flow of information. This has not only made the article interesting and informative to read but has also made one paragraph rhyme with the next in a way that is suggestive of what the reader should expect. Also, the findings are presented in a simple and straightforward manner, but with the researchers taking necessary measures to ensure they offer a fuller picture. One of the weaknesses, however, is that there is no mention of the actual geographical location of the study, implying that it is hard to generalize the findings. Also, the study is not clear on the criteria of sampling the subjects.


The resulting data from the longitudinal study coupled with the review of related literature have adequately supported the researchers’ viewpoint that the comprehensive breast center model, otherwise referred to as the interdisciplinary model of care can greatly assist to improve access to breast health services, especially among poor uninsured women and others not within the reach of mainstream health facilities (Castellanos, 2008).


From the article, it is indeed possible that many more women are living with suspicious breast tumors but lack the knowledge of how to go about it. It is fundamental that outreach programs be initiated in such populations, not only to equip the women with the needed knowledge about testing but also to save lives. It is also possible that many women livings with this condition fear visiting mainstream health facilities as they are not sure of the kind of treatment, they will get from the health personnel. Cancer testing rates and satisfaction increased in facilities that exercise courtesy and take time to counsel and care for the patients as has been depicted in the article. In light of this, I fully support the authors’ conclusion on enhancing access to breast health services.

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Reference List

Castellanos, M.R., Conte, J., Fadel, D.A., Raia, C., Forte, F., Ahern, K., Smith, M., Elsayeh, D., & Buchbinder, S. (2008). Improving access to breast health services with an interdisciplinary model of care. The Breast Journal, Vol. 14, Issue 4, p. 353-356.

Sekaran, U (2006). Research Methods for Business: A Skill Building Approach, 4th Ed. Wiley-India. ISBN: 8126509287.

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