Working to Save the 42,000 People Who Will Die From Breast Cancer This Year

Amanda DeBard | Feb 20, 2020 | Care, Research

Susan G. Komen has a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50 percent by 2026.

While Komen has contributed to the progress made over the past 38 years in diagnosing and treating breast cancer, too many women and men are still dying from the disease. This year alone, more than 42,000 women and men in the U.S. are expected to die from breast cancer.

People living with metastatic breast cancer (stage IV), for which there is no cure today, will account for the majority of those 42,000 deaths in 2020. Susan G. Komen believes this is unacceptable.

Since Komen’s inception in 1982, it has provided more than $1 billion in funding for researchers working to end this disease. Through research grants, scientists have been able to better understand breast cancer and develop better treatments. As a result, more lives are being saved.

But there is still work to do to save lives, and help people live better lives, longer.

The $26 million in research grants announced last year were focused on metastatic breast cancer, developing new, more effective treatments and addressing the disparities in breast cancer outcomes. With last year’s funding, Komen has now invested more than $210 million in more than 500 research grants focused on metastatic breast cancer.

Research grants that will be announced this fall will strengthen existing efforts to save lives by funding cutting-edge research projects that aim to use a simple blood test to detect cancer cells or pieces of DNA from cancer cells circulating in the body. These blood tests, called liquid biopsies, are not yet a common practice in the clinic but have shown promise in breast cancer and could allow doctors to detect signs of breast cancer recurrence before symptoms develop. If recurrence can be detected early, treatment can begin earlier, and more lives could be saved.

While we wait for research breakthroughs that will save more lives, Komen is fighting breast cancer through a comprehensive approach and supporting millions of people in the U.S. and around the globe. We’re supporting patients every day through our advocacy work and efforts to improve access to high-quality care and empowering them through trustworthy information they can use to make important breast care decisions.