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San Francisco Bay Area Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R) Applauds Introduction of Bipartisan Cancer Alert Act

SAN FRANCISCO, April 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The San Francisco Bay Area Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R) joined Komen for the Cure Affiliates across the country to applaud the introduction of the 21st Century Cancer ALERT (Access to Life-saving Early Detection, Research and Treatment) Act, bipartisan legislation sponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX).

"It's been more than 37 years since our nation first declared war on cancer, and yet we are still facing a significant cancer crisis," said Maria Sousa, Komen San Francisco Bay Area Affiliate Executive Director. "This bill is a key first step towards reigniting the war on cancer. We are especially pleased that this is a bipartisan effort, as cancer doesn't care what party you belong to. We must all work together and let nothing stand in the way of discovering and delivering the cures to cancer."

ALERT stands for Access to Life-saving Early Detection, Research and Treatment:

  • Early Detection -- The ALERT Act will place an emphasis on early detection and promote the discovery and development of biomarkers to detect cancers at the earliest possible stage when cancer is most treatable. The bill also has a particular focus on childhood, rare and high-mortality cancers.
  • Research -- The ALERT Act will strengthen the cancer research process by promoting public-private partnerships and collaboration between government agencies. The bill also has a focus on translational research so new discoveries and breakthroughs in the laboratory make their way to patients' bedsides as quickly as possible.
  • Treatment -- The ALERT Act will improve access to cancer care for underserved populations by expanding access to clinical trials, patient navigation services, and screening and treatment for colorectal cancer.

Forty percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, including approximately 1.4 million new cases this year alone. Cancer will claim the lives of more than a half million people this year - about 1,500 people a day.

"While the statistics are staggering, the stories behind these numbers are tragic, and should compel us into action," said Sousa. "It's time to unleash the amazing power of science, technology and medicine to discover new ways to detect cancer of any type as early as possible - earlier than we can currently imagine. As we do, we must also ensure that everyone has access to the screening and treatment options that exist today."

About the San Francisco Bay Area Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure

The San Francisco Bay Area Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure--along with those who generously support us with their talent, time and resources--is working to better the lives of those facing breast cancer in our community. We join more than 100,000 breast cancer survivors and activists around the globe as part of the world's largest and most progressive grassroots network fighting breast cancer.

The San Francisco Bay Area Affiliate is proud to have invested over $10.0 million in local breast health and breast cancer awareness projects at hospitals, clinics and other nonprofit organizations in the nine Bay Area counties of Sonoma, Napa, West Solano, Marin, San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, and Santa Clara since our inception in 1987 - 2007. We accomplish this through the Race for the Cure(R), the Komen Shopping Card campaign, donations from individuals, corporate contributions, benefits by community partners, and other fund-raising efforts. Up to 75 percent of net proceeds generated by the Komen SF Bay Area Affiliate stays in the Bay Area through our annual grants program to local tax exempt organizations providing breast cancer education, screening, support and treatment services to underserved women and their families. A minimum of 25 per cent of our annual income is directed to the national Susan G. Komen for the Cure Grants Program for energizing science to find the cures.

The 2009 Komen San Francisco Race for the Cure(R) will be held September 27, 2009 on the Embarcadero in San Francisco. Join us by visiting us online at or calling 415-397-8812.

SOURCE Susan G. Komen for the Cure San Francisco
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