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VA Battles Breast Cancer with New Oncology System of Excellence Program

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it is developing a National Women Veterans Oncology System of Excellence.

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it is developing a National Women Veterans Oncology System of Excellence. This system will be built through research, a partnership with Precision Oncology Program, and Teleoncology to provide women Veteran oncology patients with cutting edge care and access to potentially lifesaving clinical trials.

The VA’s National Precision Oncology Program provides targeted cancer care for Veterans based on their genetic profiles. More than that, though, it facilitates access to new therapies through clinical trials. Patients can agree to have their clinical, genetic, and imaging data shared with researchers to help advance cancer care. All research samples are coded and contain no personally-identifying information.

The Bristol Meyers Squibb Foundation has committed to providing the VA $4.5 million in grant funds over three years to help establish a national Teleoncology center to more effectively reach Veterans living in rural communities.

Through the National Women Veterans Oncology System of Excellence and current partnerships with The National Cancer Institute, academic medical centers, and others, the Veteran’s Administration will provide care via teleoncology and decentralized clinical trials to Women Veterans nationwide.

“Each year, an estimated 700 women Veterans enrolled in VA health care are diagnosed with breast cancer — calculating to one in eight women diagnosed within their lifetime,” said Acting VA Deputy Secretary Pamela Powers. “The VA’s continued work with partnerships, research, and innovations are leading to faster cures and better outcomes. Our Veterans deserve no less.”

Partnerships with medical and research universities will help advance and expand VA’s teleoncology and other services to provide the best cancer care and treatment options to women Veterans across the nation.

Women Veterans Health Care addresses the health care needs of women Veterans. It works to ensure that timely, equitable, high-quality, comprehensive health care services are provided in a sensitive and safe environment at VA health facilities nationwide. We strive to be a national leader in providing health care for women, thereby raising the standard of care for all women.

To fulfill this mission, Women Veterans Health Care works to make sure that all eligible women Veterans requesting VA care can be assured to receive:

  • Comprehensive primary care by a proficient and interested primary care provider
  • Privacy, safety, dignity, and sensitivity to gender-specific needs
  • The right care in the right place and time
  • State-of-the-art health care equipment and technology
  • High-quality preventive and clinical care, equal to that provided to male Veterans

Learn more about VA health services for women Veterans.

As part of this effort, VA seeks to partner with more oncology medical and research organizations and universities that deliver world-class care and research. For information on becoming a VA partner, contact Cancer@VA.Gov.

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