The Susan G. Komen breast cancer organization announced a plan today to reduce breast cancer deaths in the United States by 50 percent in 10 years.
The plan involves improving access and quality, timely cancer care to those who are underserved as well as increasing their research focus on deadly breast cancers.
“We know that people die of breast cancer for two reasons: a lack of high-quality breast cancer care accessible to everyone, and a lack of treatments for the most aggressive and deadly forms of this disease,” Dr. Judith A. Salerno, president and CEO of Susan G. Komen, said in a press release. “We are taking direct action designed to solve these problems to reduce breast cancer deaths by half in the U.S. within the next decade.”
Salerno said the Fund II Foundation made a grant of about $27 million for a program targeting metropolitan areas to close the gap in death rates between black women and white women.
According to the release, "African-American women are nearly 40 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than white women; in some cities, that gap is as high as 74 percent."
Memphis, St. Louis, Dallas, Los Angeles, Virginia Beach, Atlanta, Chicago, Houstin, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia are the first cities to be targeted. Baltimore and Detroit are among high-priority areas as the Komen's African-American Health Equity Initiative expands.
“This constitutes a public health crisis that must be addressed, first in the cities where these death rates are highest, and then in all areas of the country,” Salerno said.
When it comes to research, Komen plans to focus on aggressive forms of breast cancer and metastatic disease.
“The majority of breast cancer deaths are from metastatic breast cancer. We also know that aggressive forms of breast cancer are more likely to recur and spread, so we are focusing our efforts in both of these areas,” Salerno said.