Cancer Clinic Will Open in Southeast

Posted May 9, 2003 at 3:11pm

A new breast cancer clinic aimed at treating low-income women will soon open near the Capitol, in a neighborhood where area officials say such a service is a necessity.

Thanks to a $1 million gift from the Avon Foundation, a charity that raises money to help fight the disease, the cancer center is scheduled to open its doors within six months at 650 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.

The money, given to the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University, will help to fund the initial stages of the cancer clinic. The Lombardi Center will also be working with Washington Hospital Center to help those with breast cancer.

“We are putting this in an area of medically underserved people,” said Lindsey Spindle, a spokeswoman for Georgetown University Medical Center. “It’s an enormous development and could be a huge improvement in terms of people’s health.”

The clinic will provide more than just mammograms, she said. Such additional services will likely include genetic risk assessment, clinic referrals to partner hospitals and nutrition education — all of which focus on preventative factors.

“What kills people is when breast cancer spreads,” said Spindle. “When it goes undetected for so long, the chance of it spreading is so much higher.”

That is why it’s so important to catch the disease at its early stages in order to try to save people’s lives, she added.

This type of clinic is new for this D.C. area. Officials say the District has the highest rate of cancer in the country, which is why it’s so important for it to open in this location.

Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Mary Wright (Ward 6) called the opening of the new cancer center exciting, saying that its proximity to the Eastern Market Metro station will make the clinic a lot more accessible to those living all over the District.

“It’s really exciting to have something like this happen here,” she said.