Taking a look inside GA's only minority focused research program - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Taking a look inside GA's only minority focused research program

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

According to a study from the Department of Health & Human Services, Cancer is taking more lives in rural communities than urban communities. 

The battle with cancer for Angelia Cummings has been a long one dating back to 2011.

But right after in 2013, she was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. Coming from a small rural community in Americus, resources were stretched thin for treatment so doctors recommended her to the Georgia Cancer Center.. 

"The rate of survival of patients with cancer in urban or rural areas is different. It's much better in urban areas than rural areas," says Dr. Sharad Ghamande, Gynecological Oncologist at the Center.

The hospital is the only one in Georgia and just 12 around the country awarded a grant from the National Cancer Institute. Its mission is to give better access to clinical trials and cancer treatments for patients in areas with limited options.

"It's across the board to all patients but our accrual is meant to primarily to do more of minority accruals," says Dr. Ghamande. 

"If it wasn't for the clinical trials, I wouldn't be making it. I'll probably be sick somewhere," explains Cummings.

Nearly 50% of its patients in the clinical trials last year were minorities. Treatments vary anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 but thanks to grant it gives people like Angelia a fighting chance at survival. 

"I'm hoping it will keep me alive for a long time. I'm willing to do what I have to do to make it to all my appointments and take my medicine like I'm supposed to," she says.

The Liddy Project it cover the cost for transportation, food, and hotel for patients like Cummings who are traveling from smaller areas.

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