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  • The European Association for Cancer Research (EACR)

    Komen Founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker addressed The European Association for Cancer Research over the weekend, telling the world’s most influential cancer researchers that collaboration and new ideas are essential to beginning to stem a growing global cancer pandemic.  Breast cancer is the most widely diagnosed cancer in women worldwide. The biggest impacts are already being felt in developing nations with the fewest resources: more than 60% of cancer deaths occur in the developing world, yet only 5% of world cancer resources are dedicated there.  Nancy cited Komen collaborations with governments, non-governmental organizations and “in-country” health advocates as a step toward addressing the issue, and encouraged more collaborations to address the pandemic.  Read the full press release and check out some pictures in the slideshow below!


  • Update: Pink Ribbon | Red Ribbon – Our Work in Africa

    Greetings from Lusaka, Zambia!

    One of the best parts of my job is witnessing firsthand the solid progress for women’s health that can occur when great minds and great resources work together.  I was delighted today to be in Lusaka, Zambia, to help dedicate a new African Center of Excellence for Women’s Cancer, made possible in part by the extraordinary work of our new Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR) initiative.

    Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon is a partnership with Komen, the George W. Bush Institute, UNAIDS, PEPFAR, Merck and Glaxo Smith Kline to greatly improve screening for cervical cancer and improve education and screening for breast cancer. You can read more about this partnership here.  Here’s why cancer screening and treatment is so important in developing nations.

    Cancer today kills more people worldwide than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined – more than 7 million people annually. The burden is harshest on low-resource and developing countries, where 60% of cancer deaths occur today.  The issues are economic: medical resources are very scarce and education and screening for diseases is sparse. They are also cultural: there are often stigmas associated with cancer, and women fear seeking help if they feel a lump.

    The result is that, far too often, women arrive for treatment with tumors breaking through their skins, dying in agony of cancers that could have been successfully treated at earlier stages.

    It’s a cruel irony that in some countries, enough progress has been made in maternal health, nutrition and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment that women are living long enough to develop cervical and breast cancer. In Zambia alone, breast and cervical cancer among women account for over 41% of cancer deaths in the country.  With most new cases of cancer arising in the developing world, we must take steps to stem this growing cancer tsunami.

    Komen has been active in developing nations for many years – helping to break down some of the myths around breast cancer and to provide resources to detect and treat it early, when most forms of breast cancer are most easily treated. We’ve provided more than $44 million to international researchers and community programs. We work in partnership with hundreds of breast cancer organizations on the ground on five continents.  Our view is that where you live shouldn’t determine whether you live.

    So we were very excited today to witness the 43rd President, George W. Bush, and Mrs. Bush officially dedicating the new African Center of Excellence for Women’s Cancers in Lusaka, whose purpose is to reduce deaths from women’s cancers in the African region by raising the standards of care through education, training and research, with a focus on primary and secondary prevention and treatment of early stage disease. This center will have distance learning and point- of-care capability to support the healthcare workforce, both in Zambia and across many African countries.

    Komen, too, has recently expanded our work to Zambia.  Through a Komen grant, the Center for Infectious Diseases Research is establishing the Cancer Prevention Alliance of Zambia.  This alliance convenes existing breast and cervical cancer advocacy organizations in Zambia to coordinate strategies and share best practices.

    Additionally, through our partnership with Merck, we will begin scaling up breast and cervical cancer education to increase knowledge and awareness, and reduce stigma throughout Zambia in coordination with local NGOs, the Zambian government, the U.S. government, and our PRRR partners.

    And today, we announced a commitment of $200,000 to develop and implement a provider breast cancer training curriculum that will address gaps in the breast cancer continuum of care.  In doing so, we will build on the expertise of in-country providers including nurses, general practitioners, radiologists, pathologists, oncologists and surgeons

    Our efforts and partnerships in more than 50 countries are aimed at fulfilling a lofty vision: a world where no woman or man has to worry about breast cancer ever again.  As I stood at the ceremony today – far, far from home – I was once again humbled to know that whatever our differences, our locations, our languages, so many of us are united in this most noble of human ventures: to end suffering from one of the world’s oldest and deadliest enemies.

    We can save so many women and men from this suffering, as we work furiously in the laboratories to find the cures.  It will take a global community to do it, and all of us at Komen are grateful for the partners, healthcare workers, scientists, partners and advocates who are helping to make a world without cancer a reality.

  • #GetScreened – The GE Mammovan and Wyoming

    From L to R: WY Gov Matt Mead; First lady Carol Mead; Lynn Erdman, VP Community Health, Komen; Sue Siegel, CEO healthyimagination, GE; Dr Wendy Braund, State Health Officer, WY Department of Health

    Guest blog from Lynn Erdman, RN, MN, OCNS, FAAN - Vice President, Community Health, Susan G. Komen for the Cure

    We were in Wyoming this morning to kick off a terrific new program that’s going to have tremendous value in terms of breast health for women in Wyoming and in other states with large rural areas. I was delighted to be with Governor Matt Mead and First Lady of Wyoming, Lynn Mead, with GE’s Sue Siegel and with our Wyoming Affiliate to officially christen the GE “Mammovan,” which will travel the state to screen women where they live. This is part of our new Wyoming Women First initiative and it’s another example of how public/private partnerships can benefit women in our fight against breast cancer. Here’s why this pilot project is important: Wyoming is one of the least sparsely populated states in the Union, where people live an average of 70 minutes from the nearest healthcare facilities. Like other states with large rural populations, screening rates for breast cancer are below average.  To address this, GE Healthcare, Susan G. Komen and the State of Wyoming announced the Wyoming Women First program last year. Over time, we believe we’ll be able to bring the benefits of this pilot project to women in other rural stats.

    The Mammovan is just one part of the program — Komen also announced $1.2 million in grants to the Caring Foundation of Wyoming, the Wyoming Foundation for Cancer Care and Women’s Wellness at Wyoming Migrant Health. These grants will help make screenings, and more coordinated breast cancer treatment, a reality.  A link to the official press release announcing this program is here. I was so pleased to see the excitement, enthusiasm and dedication at our event today and grateful to GE, Wyoming health officials, the healthcare providers and local community groups for such a positive and meaningful partnership.

  • The First Race in Cologne, Germany to the Last Tortoise in St. Louis

    Despite the dreary weather, nearly 1,600 participants and 200 breast cancer survivors gathered in high spirits for the first Race for the Cure in Cologne, Germany on June 16. Local survivor Bianca Knop shared that immediately after her diagnosis at the age of 38, she received Komen Deutschland’s “Pink Infobag” with information about Komen’s work and invaluable information about breast cancer. She shared that the support she received and the Affiliate’s wonderful work made her proud to join the walk. Komen volunteer and Race Committee member Dirk Kleimann shared the story of his wife, who tragically lost her battle to breast cancer after receiving a late breast cancer diagnosis. He proudly presented Komen Deutschland with a check for 2,660 Euros at the Race, and continues to work to educate women and men about breast cancer.

    More than 50,000 people came together this past weekend for the Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure. So far, the event has raised more than $2.45 million! Participants (and pooches!) were decked out in pink, proudly wearing bandanas, leis and tutus. Even Charlie the tortoise crossed the finish line in style. Check him out in the video below. The weekend included the Race, Dine Out for the Cure and Caliente for the Cure, making it an even more incredible weekend for the Affiliate and local women and men. STLToday (here as well), KSDK and Z6Mag all discuss the wonderful Race day.

    Stay tuned! We’ll be back in a few weeks to share fun memories from the Brainerd Lakes and Aspen Races. Until then, you can find your local Komen Race for the Cure here.

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  • Susan G. Komen Community Grants in Action

    Guest post by Tauane Araujo Cruz – Susan G. Komen for the Cure Program Manager, Latin America

    Companies all over the world are actively encouraging female and male employees alike to take action for their health. In Latin America, Susan G. Komen has been privileged to deliver educational sessions detailing key breast self-awareness messages to more than 1,250 employees of companies such as American Airlines, Bank of America, Caterpillar, Cable and Wireless, Hologic, Maersk and more.

    L to R: Cristina Cidre, HR Manager and Renato Urvaneja, Director of Finance for Owens Corning

    With the knowledge that breast cancer can affect anyone, anywhere, creating opportunities in the workplace that foster increased understanding of breast health is crucial to increasing prevention efforts in the industrial sector. That’s why, with support from Komen’s International Community Grants, community-based organizations are driving home this concept of workplace awareness and creating opportunities to empower those around them and further the mutual vision of a world without breast cancer.

    Project “Empresa Amiga da Mulher”, in other words, “Women Friendly Company”, is a notable example of Komen community grants in action. The project, developed by Rede Rioclarense de Combate ao Câncer de Mama Carmem Prudente focuses on creating breast cancer awareness in companies throughout the city of Rio Claro in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

    Owens Corning, the world’s leading producer of glass fiber materials used in composites, was the first company in Rio Claro to join the project realized in collaboration with CIESP (Center for Industry in Sao Paulo) and with funding provided by Komen this past May 2012.

    Lectures presented by Fernanda Piazentini allowed 60 women employees, contractors and family members to clarify doubts, ask questions and obtain guidance on breast health issues. To emphasize their commitment, Renato Urvaneja, Director of Finance for Owens Corning, highlighted the importance of this partnership and noted that the health of employees is of vital importance for future projects.

    In communities like Rio Claro and through partners such as Rede Rioclarense, Komen is promoting education, facilitating screening and building the capacity of the global community working to end breast cancer forever. To date, Komen has invested more than USD $27 million in funding for international breast cancer research and more than USD $17 million for international community education and outreach programs.

    As Program Manager for Latin America, I am pleased with our advances, implementation and mobilization efforts. Even so, as I celebrate each accomplishment, I am thrilled about what the future holds!

    About Rede Rioclarense de Combate ao Câncer de Mama – The Rioclarense Network Against Breast Cancer, which is also known as the Network of Women Against Cancer is a nonprofit charity and volunteer organization whose goal is to create awareness in the medical care, hospital and pharmaceutical industries and provide support to those undergoing cancer treatment.
    About CIESP – The Center for Industry in Sao Paulo is a nonprofit civil organization founded in 1928 that brings together industry, its founders and linked associations in the production sector, as well as companies focused on activities directly related to the interests of industry.