March 17, 2011 Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer News, Global, Komen Advocacy, Komen Leadership News, Komen News, Mission
We are all devastated by the ongoing crisis in Japan. More than 70 nations have opened their hearts and wallets to assist with food, medicine and dollars. But humanitarian assistance takes many forms, and the global cancer community has a vital role to play to help address a looming cancer crisis caused by the nuclear accidents in Japan.
You can help us in our efforts to avert this potential cancer crisis. As leader of the world’s largest breast cancer organization, I am calling on global cancer leaders to develop a cancer action plan – today — for Japan. I need your support to show that we are all unified for the people of Japan, and for those who may be affected by nuclear accidents today and into the future, wherever they may live.
I know the devastation that these accidents can cause. I served on the National Cancer Advisory Board after the Chernobyl accident, horrified to see an aftermath that produced the largest group of cancers ever. It’s been 25 years since Chernobyl, but exposure to fallout may be responsible for thyroid cancers that are still occurring in people who lived there.
We must act now and we are. Susan G. Komen for the Cure will convene a panel of global experts to immediately begin addressing the future cancer risks generated from this incident and draft a plan of action.
Here’s where you can help. We are asking all of you — our vast network of global friends and supporters — to sign a petition calling for the release of all information regarding the accident and the potential effects of migrating radiation. As Japan works to contain the current crisis and provide for the immediate needs of its citizens, we urge the government to partner with the global cancer community to help protect the long term public health of people in Japan and around the world.
Please show your support by signing our petition at the link below.SIGN OUR PETITION
The New York Times recently featured a story raising concerns about the “unrealistic optimism” that many cancer patients have who sign up for early Phase I or II clinical trials. Some doctors and ethicists worried that too many volunteers have their hopes too high that the drug or treatment being tested will conquer their cancer. But George Sledge, M.D., a member of our Scientific Advisory Board, isn’t all that concerned about the volunteers’ high hopes. In fact, as he writes in the current edition of the ASCO Connection, he’s proud of them.
Check out Dr. Sledge’s article here.
A special thanks to our emcee Donald Trump and all who helped raise $800,000 for Komen’s research and community programs during the first Perfect Pink Party at the Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach last Friday night. The event marked the promise that our founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker made to her sister, Susan G. Komen, to end breast cancer forever. It was great to celebrate with terrific guests in a sea of pink!
Trump – who is a Susan G. Komen for the Cure New York Ambassador — donated an additional $25,000 during the evening. Among our special guests were: Stage 3 triple negative breast cancer survivor, FOX News correspondent and Komen for the Cure Global Ambassador Jennifer Griffin, who introduced four Komen research grantees: Amelie Ramirez of the University of Texas at San Antonio, Dr. Powel Brown, professor and chairman of Clinical Cancer Prevention at MD Anderson (Ramirez and Brown are both members of our Scientific Advisory Board), Ana Maria Gonzalez-Angulo of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and Dr. Thomas Buckholz chair of the radiation oncology department and executive director of the Morgan Welch Inflammatory Breast Cancer center at MD Anderson.
As the 2011 Perfect Pink Party winds up, the Pink Passions Auction is in full swing. The auction features many one-of-a-kind designer creations and exclusive experiences from the worlds’ greatest luxury brands. To see the items and participate, visit www.charitybuzz.com/PerfectPink through March 23, 2011.
Be sure to check out more photos from the gala on the Palm Beach Post website.
Guest post from Patty Spears, Cheryl Jernigan, Mary Elliott and Sandy Finestone, breast cancer research advocate members to the Komen Scholars.
The Komen Scholars was established in 2010 to provide the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Scientific Advisory Board with advice and expertise in scientific peer review of research applications. The Komen Scholars are a diverse group of breast cancer experts and leaders in research coming together as one council, for one cause: to put an end to breast cancer! The Scholars met for the first time last week to discuss the current Komen for the Cure grant review process and current research projects.
The meeting started with a welcome lunch where the Scholars connected with each other prior to the discussion. Komen president, Liz Thompson, and the rest of the staff introduced the organization and presented an overview of the grant review process. In a room full of renowned scientists and research advocates, all comments were welcomed and listened to!
Each session encouraged conversation resulting in suggestions for future processes. Comments and concerns were provided, and our collective knowledge resulted in many suggestions that will enhance the Komen grant review process and outcomes.
We also heard presentations from each of the researchers leading several Komen Promise Grants – some of the most innovative and translational research funded by Komen. Based on particular areas of expertise, many of the Scholars offered new ideas or possible enhancements to the research projects already underway.
There is still much work that needs to be done and our ability to fund leading breast cancer research is becoming more crucial to achieving an end to breast cancer.
The scientific leadership of the Komen Scholars is very impressive and we are proud to be valued partners with Komen in this fight. Research advocates and scientists working together as Komen Scholars can ensure the research we fund will change the breast cancer landscape and lead to better prevention, diagnosis, treatments and, ultimately, the cures.
Today we are very excited to announce we have joined forces with the Caterpillar Foundation in a $2 million, three-year partnership to increase breast cancer awareness and improve screening and early detection outcomes in low-resource communities in Latin America. This isn’t something to be taken lightly- this is the largest gift from a single foundation ever awarded to us in three decades!
The partnership will award grants to local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to establish and further develop comprehensive early detection programs with the goal of increasing breast cancer screening rates in Monterrey, Mexico; Sao Paulo, Brazil and Panama City, Panama. In Latin America, more than 70% of cancers are diagnosed when the disease is very advanced, and cancer is stigmatized and viewed as a ‘death sentence.’ The Caterpillar Foundation’s generous support gives us a unique opportunity to help fund critical programs that will ultimately save lives.
In keeping with our philosophy of building on existing infrastructure, each of these communities was chosen because they already had screening services in place, and we have already laid the foundation through our Course for the Cure™ program to scale-up screening efforts through community assessment and grassroots training initiatives. One of the key components of the Course for the Cure training program is the community assessment model, which identifies screening gaps and unmet needs within each community in an effort to better understand and define each region’s priorities and objectives for future action. These gaps guide the development of new, evidence-based community programs that improve local breast health outcomes.
The grants will support public awareness campaigns, breast self-awareness training, training for medical practitioners and infrastructure improvements. Additionally, our Global Initiative staff will support sustainability by convening community roundtables to develop guidelines for effective screening policies, increase screening resources for uninsured, poor and/or rural women and by conducting training workshops in coordination with the community roundtables. Stay tuned because the first round of grant recipients will be announced this summer!
Recognizing the growing global impact of breast cancer, the shared challenges among countries worldwide, and the value of coordinated advocacy in the battle against this disease, we began exploring outreach outside the U.S. in 1999. We have provided more than $27 million in funding for international breast cancer research and more than $17 million for international community education and outreach programs in more than 50 countries.
This support gives us a unique opportunity to truly make a life-saving impact for thousands of women and men in communities throughout Latin America.
Read the official press release here.