The long-term goal of the Hawaiʻi Pacific Islands Mammography Registry (HIPIMR) is to develop accurate and validated models of breast cancer risk and detection in real-time for women with the diverse breast cancer risk profiles as described above who have not been well represented in breast cancer cohorts and clinical trials so far.

Below you will find projects and workshops put on by the UH Cancer Center in collaboration with various research institutions and medical partners to address this issue, with a special focus on the unique population of Hawaiʻi and the rest of the Pacific.

Breast Health Questionnaire Standardization

We propose a project for a breast health questionnaire standardized for use across the state of Hawaiʻi. Currently, the breast health information being collected at mammography clinics varies across the state. In many cases, it is inadequate to determine a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer in the future. Using the same questions and information across the state for all women allows for researchers and doctors to calculate breast cancer risk in the same way using the most up-to-date models.

The Makawalu Study: Breast Cancer Screening in the Pacific using Portable Ultrasound

Advanced stage breast cancer (Stage III/IV) rates in the Pacific are much higher than in the US mainland, especially where mammography services do not exist or have low accessibility. Furthermore, Hawaiʻi and Guam both have high insurance coverage and mammography access similar to the US mainland, so why does this problem still exist? In this study, we aim to identify cofactors (breast density, ethnicity, BMI, etc.) that impact the sensitivity and specificity for malignant breast cancer lesion detection on clinical ultrasound images with AI support for readers of varying backgrounds and experience and in areas where mammography is not available.

The Accessible Breast Cancer Screening in the Pacific Study

In this pre-pilot study, we propose to evaluate the effectiveness of the iBreastExam (iBE) as an early detection tool among women of Pacific Islander ancestry. We would also test the acceptance of the technology with an interview of the participants. With the completion of this pilot, we would gain a preliminary understanding of the strengths and limitations of this device and the acceptance of the device in the community.