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  • Training Community Educators in Brazil

    Guest post from Susan G. Komen for the Cure Manager of Community Health, Catherine Oliveros, DrPH

    Course for the Cure™We find ourselves in Sao Paulo, Brazil enjoying its warm weather, familiarizing ourselves with its mountainous streets and learning that Sao Paulo is known, well, for…its pizza. Some locals report that the Brazilians have improved on the Italian version – we have yet to find out.

    The true mission of our trip to Sao Paulo, however, is not to weigh in on the pizza debate, but more importantly to observe the pilot of Komen’s Community Educators Program (CEP), a new curriculum being launched as part of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Global Initiative for Breast Cancer Awareness.

    This is exciting work, where we share what we’ve learned about how effective breast cancer education programs can lead to behavior change in communities with advocacy groups and health professionals “in country.” We’re working together to establish education programs that will lead to better breast cancer outcomes in Brazil. It was terrific meeting and working this week with a great group of individuals from Albert Einstein Hospital in Brazil. We had three days of training, led by the Brazil country team, Luciana Holtz de Camargo Barros and Maria Theresa Veit.

    Our Community Educators Program builds on previous work that we have done in Brazil and 6 other countries through the Course for the Cure™ program.

    About 45,000 women in Brazil were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 – it is the most prevalent cancer among women there. All of us are working to “downstage” the disease in Brazil, that is, get to a place where women arrive for medical treatment at the very earliest stages of breast cancer, when it is easier to treat.

    I love being able to meet women and men who are as passionate about ending this disease as I am, no matter where they live and work. I’d like to thank our hosts in Brazil for a great and meaningful three days of training, and for a partnership that will be so meaningful. To learn more about our global work, visit http://www.globalkomen.org .

  • Why the Movement Matters

    Nancy G. Brinker at the 2010 Global Race for the CureThis weekend in Palm Beach, Florida, Komen kicks off the 2011 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure series with the 20th anniversary of the South Florida Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.   There are now more than 1 million people running in more than 140 Komen races in countries all around the world – a huge jump from the 800 brave souls who first gathered in Dallas for the first Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in 1982.

    Some run to win, others to remember or celebrate a friend or loved one who is surviving a breast cancer diagnosis.  They raise funds for research and the Komen programs that serve millions of women every day.

    The Komen Race for the Cure series is open to everyone– young, old, rich, poor, and the famous.  Among the famous?  Hoda Kotb, NBC network host, who is a breast cancer survivor and honorary chair of the Palm Beach race.

    Hoda talks here with Kelley Dunn of Channel 5 in Palm Beach about her own experience with breast cancer, what that first Race as a breast cancer survivor meant to her – and why the movement matters.

  • What You Should Know About Breast Implants

    Breast Implants
    Source: FDA

    If you’ve had reconstructive surgery or are thinking about it, take note.

    Yesterday, the FDA announced a possible link between saline and silicone gel-filled breast implants and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). While ALCL is extremely rare, the FDA believes women with breast implants may have a very small but increased risk of developing this disease in the scar capsule adjacent to the implant.

    The disease is diagnosed in only 3 of 100 million women in the United States without breast implants and the FDA is aware of about 60 cases of ALCL worldwide in women with breast implants, which is small compared to the estimated 5 to 10 million women who have implants worldwide. The FDA is asking health care providers to be vigilant in considering ALCL and reporting confirmed cases to the FDA for further study. Additionally, the FDA does not recommend that women without symptoms consider removal of their implants, nor do they suggest any change in routine medical care or follow-up.

    We encourage you to know your body and what is normal for you. Report any changes to your breast to your oncologist or plastic surgeon and if you’re considering the procedure, talk to your surgeon about the risks and benefits.

    Learn more about breast implants and breast cancer risk here, and read our official statement here.

  • For the Cure

    As you may have seen, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams aired a segment this evening that focused on Susan G. Komen for the Cure trademark issues around use of the words “for the Cure.” While there are aspects of the segment that we feel could have been more balanced, we do recognize that this issue needs additional clarification.  If we’ve been perhaps a bit overzealous in protecting our name, it’s because we feel a huge responsibility to our family of volunteers and donors and all of those who are helped by our mission to discover and deliver the cures for breast cancer.

    Of course, we are always evolving and looking at how we can improve, and that includes an examination of our trademark protection strategy—an examination that started long before this controversy began brewing.  As we made clear in the Nightly News segment, this work is actively underway, and we expect to share a new strategy within the next 30-60 days. Read more

  • Statement from Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker on the Passing of R. Sargent Shriver, Jr.

    It is with profound sorrow that we mourn the passing of our friend R. Sargent Shriver, Jr., one of the nation’s—indeed, the world’s—finest and most accomplished champions of peace and progress. Throughout an exemplary and compassionate life dedicated to the highest ideals of equal opportunity for all and the greater promise of humanity, Sargent Shriver served with distinction in a truly extraordinary number of capacities. In such benchmark roles as the first director of the Peace Corps and the leader of the Center for the War on Poverty, and as founder of such essential organizations as Special Olympics, Head Start and VISTA, he led by conviction, by brilliance and by example. War hero, husband, father, activist, leader and great American, R. Sargent Shriver, Jr. represented the very best of what we all hope to achieve.  His inspiration as a man of uncompromising principle lives on. We offer our deepest condolences to his children, Robert, Maria, Timothy, Mark and Anthony.