Washington, D.C.’s fight against breast cancer
Most patients will tell you that after hearing the words “you have breast cancer,” everything goes fuzzy. They can’t hear anything their doctor is saying, or even think straight. Their fight against this disease has literally just begun, and they are suddenly faced with countless appointments to schedule, specialists to visit, and decisions to make about surgery and treatment; not to mention trying to manage a whirlwind of emotion and anxiety for their families, careers and life in general.
Fortunately, patient navigation programs across the country (many supported by local Komen Affiliates) are designed to help breast cancer patients figure out what to do and when, ensuring that a lack of knowledge or access to care will not stand between a breast cancer diagnosis and disease-free survival.
In Washington, D.C., the area with the 2nd highest breast cancer mortality rate in the country, Susan G. Komen has invested in local navigation programs like the one at Capital Breast Cancer Center (CBCC) – providing transportation and appointment assistance, nutrition support and more to local breast cancer patients, reaching more than 1,000 women between Jan. 2011 and Dec. 2012. In fact, a recent study (read it here) found that low-income and minority women screened for breast cancer at CBCC exceeded national standards in their rate of follow-up after a positive mammogram! This is encouraging as detecting a tumor early, while it is still confined to the breast, is associated with the best survival outcomes.
Thanks to all of the passionate supporters that participate in events like the Global Race for the Cure®, Komen’s investments in the National Capital Area go far beyond CBCC. The DC Pink Divas Program provides hope to women who are looking for answers and support, reaching more than 3,000 women in one of the most underserved communities in the country – D.C.’s Ward 8. And the impact doesn’t end there. Take a look at our recent announcement, detailing all of our local D.C. grants.
It is the support of those in D.C. that makes this work possible, and we are grateful to everyone who has joined us in our mission to end this disease. None of these lifesaving programs, in D.C. or in communities nationwide, would be possible without support from individuals across the country that join in a Race, put on a pink tie, bake pink cupcakes and so much more to give hope and help to those facing this disease.
Komen, along with our global network of researchers and advocates, looks forward to the day that no one will have to hear the words “you have breast cancer,” but for now, it is critical to support those who are currently facing this disease.
If you live in the National Capital Area, I hope you will support these programs and others by joining us at the National Mall for the Global Race on May 11.
For information about Global Race or to find a Race near you, click here.
About the author
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, we have invested more than $1.9 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.