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Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R), San Diego Releases Community Profile Unveiling Alarming Statistics About Breast Cancer in San Diego County

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to continue to deliver on its vision of a world without breast cancer, Susan G. Komen for the Cure,((R) )San Diego conducted an in-depth, county-wide research and community needs assessment to identify disparities in breast cancer across populations. Komen San Diego conducts a Community Profile every two years to ensure its programs are meeting the breast health services needs in San Diego County. This recent report unveiled important data that will guide the Affiliate's strategic activities as it looks to close gaps and ensure equal care, education, treatment and resources to all populations in the county.

"This is the first-ever in-depth study on breast cancer completed in San Diego County. While some of the statistics are alarming, we feel empowered by the data, which has helped us identify the populations most in need of breast health services and identify gaps in services that must be reduced to improve breast health among members of our community," said Laura Farmer Sherman, executive director of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego. "We now know where the needs are, and we can pursue opportunities to fill those needs, establish granting priorities, focus our education needs, and drive public policy with a clear direction and strategy to make a bigger impact where it's needed."

Community Profile Conclusions

To complete its Community Profile, Komen San Diego engaged a broad base of key experts and stakeholders, reviewed existing secondary data and discussion, and collected direct feedback from survivors. Based on analysis of breast cancer statistics in San Diego County, there were three target areas selected for in-depth study: minority women, young women, and breast health providers. The minority women in this study included: African-Americans, Latinas, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, immigrants, refugees, lesbians, and transgender men and women.

Following are key conclusions of the study:

  • More people are being diagnosed with breast cancer in San Diego County than anywhere else in California
  • The good news - "if you can call it that," said Farmer Sherman, is that San Diego has a higher incidence of diagnosis at an early, non-invasive, stage. That means chances of survival are nearly 98 percent
  • However, in San Diego, minority women are less likely to receive screenings and be diagnosed at early stage (especially African-Americans) than Caucasians
  • Incidence highest among African Americans, followed by Caucasians
  • And, that meant African Americans had highest breast cancer mortality rate
  • Young women (<40) less likely to receive clinical screenings than older women
  • Providers lack information for survivors
  • Overall, the North Coastal, North Inland, and East regions lacked services, while the Central, North Central, and South regions were the most resourced. Although, this may be related to population density within the regions, there were no diagnosis or treatment sites located in or near Borrego Springs (in North Inland) or Rancho Santa Fe (in North Coastal), two of the cities with the highest incidence and mortality rates in San Diego County
  • Providers do not have staff to serve non-English speaking clients. Providers frequently did not speak the language of their clients. Languages with the largest needs were Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Farsi, Somali, Cantonese, and Korean
  • Perceived barriers to accessing breast healthcare included lack of awareness, financial and cultural barriers and emotional factors, such as fear
  • According to study participants, increased advocacy, education, provider training and funding for services, such as transportation and screening would contribute to improvements in the breast health system in San Diego County

Farmer Sherman added: "At Susan G. Komen for the Cure we believe everyone deserves the same opportunity to become breast cancer survivors and to have an assurance that their future healthcare needs are properly managed. As a survivor myself, I understand the importance of having access to information and resources that guide women in their journeys to survival. We are going to keep working hard to do everything we can to close the gaps in San Diego County and ensure our community needs are met."

Action Plan

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is focused on reducing breast cancer incidence and mortality within the next decade with increased emphasis on finding solutions for disparities in breast cancer across populations. Community grants will be made to support evidence-based strategies and promising practices to reduce disparities in breast cancer mortality in San Diego County.

Drawing from evidence-based information from its Community Profile and other local and national studies, Komen San Diego has identified the following priority populations, geographic target areas and programmatic priorities for its 2010 Community Grants Program:

Financial and Navigation Issues: Increase the availability of financial resources for diagnosis, treatment and post-treatment in San Diego County among uninsured and underinsured women. Partner or collaborate on resources to help patients and their families' access and navigate the resources that are available.

Providers: Increase competency among providers for breast health protocols and cultural/linguistic sensitivity. Partner with professional organizations to study/create/implement culturally sensitive continuing education and track progress.

Underserved Populations: Programs that seek to reduce late-stage diagnosis and mortality among underserved groups of women. Many groups of women are currently at higher risk due to lack of education about breast health, cultural/linguistic barriers, lack of available diagnostic services and late stage diagnosis. There are proportionally more such underserved women in the African American, Latina, Pacific Islander, Asian, Lesbian/Transgender and Homeless communities.

Young Women at Risk: Provide screening, diagnostic, treatment and support services for women under 40 with a family history or palpable mass; to decrease late-stage diagnosis and mortality rate by increasing partnerships with organizations that predominantly serve young women, especially underserved young women; to increase awareness of breast health and breast cancer and the availability of culturally appropriate and relevant breast health materials for young women.

For a complete copy of the Profile Report, please contact For additional information Susan G. Komen for the Cure, please visit the national Web site at, or the San Diego Affiliate Web site at

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego

Since its inception in 1995, more than $8.5 million has been given to local organizations that provide breast cancer education, screening, diagnostics, treatment and patient support for the uninsured or underinsured in San Diego County. Seventy-five percent of every dollar raised stays right here in San Diego County to cover every step in the breast cancer journey -- from education, outreach, mammograms and diagnostics to surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and material and financial support. The remaining 25 percent funds international breast cancer research. In fact, next to the U.S. government, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the largest funder of breast cancer research in the world.

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure, the organization has invested nearly $1 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.


September 26: Fashion for a Green Future - Ecologique Fashion Show Fashion for a Green Future is a fantastic high fashion runway show and reception dedicated to the "green couture" movement. Designs will include sustainable, organic, eco-friendly and recycled materials. Proceeds from ticket sales to the fashion show will be donated to the San Diego Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R). To learn more and to purchase tickets, contact Andrea Krystine at

September 27: Knit-in for the Cure at Yarning for You in San Marcos

Come celebrate knitting, friendship, women, survival, generosity and community. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., grab some yarn and needles and whip up something fabulous at this event at the beautiful Yarning for You in San Marcos. Door prizes! Refreshments! And Yarning for You will give all who participates a 15% discount on your next yarn purchase! The store also serves as a collection point for all Knit In items - which will be offered at the November 1 Race for the Cure. Proceeds will benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego. RSVP by calling 760-744-5648 or

October 17 and 18: Survivor Crop Scrapbooking Marathon

You and your friends will be cast away on an island with only scrapbooking supplies for 24 hours! Sponsored by Vista-based Ever After Scrapbooks, this fun-filled event is held at Oceanside's Quantum Learning Campus. There will be lots of fun and creativity during the 24-hour "marathon" including make and take albums, games, raffles, food and prizes for all. The annual event begins at 9 a.m. on Oct. 17 and concludes at 9 a.m. on Oct. 18.

October 25, 2009: Row for the Cure(R)!

Pattie Pinkerton, head coach for UCSD's Women's Rowing, presents the 8th annual Row for the Cure! Rowers and Kayakers of all levels are welcome - you can even sit on a barge and watch the Row go by! Costs range from $25 - $90 depending on whether you're rowing as an individual or on a team, kayaking or observing on the barge. The competition is 2,000 meters or approximately 1.5 miles.

2009 Komen San Diego Race for the Cure(R)

Join us on Sunday, November 1st in Balboa Park.

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure(R) Series, the largest series of 5K runs/fitness walks in the world, raises significant funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer, celebrates breast cancer survivorship and honors those who have lost their battle with the disease. Since its inception in 1983, the Komen Race for the Cure series has grown from one local Race with 800 participants to a global series of more than 120 Races with more than 1 million people expected to participate in 2009.

The Komen Race for the Cure is a unique event, designed and implemented to promote positive awareness, education and early detection of breast cancer. It has proved to be an enormously effective way to reach many women and men with the message that breast cancer is not necessarily fatal if mammography and breast self-exam become routine. As well as being a road race for runners, the Komen Race for the Cure is an emotionally charged event that attracts many first timers and recreational runners. The Komen Race for the Cure is an opportunity for thousands of women, men and their families, running or walking, to spread the breast cancer message within their communities.

Up to 75 percent of the funds raised at the Race remain here in San Diego to provide breast health research, diagnostics, screening, treatment, services and education for uninsured or underinsured women. The remaining 25 percent goes to fund national research to discover the causes of breast cancer and, ultimately, its cures.

Why we need your support: Every step counts! Your donation provides women and men in San Diego County with services that have literally saved lives. You help make the following programs possible:

  • Free mammograms and diagnostics
  • Medical treatment for qualified breast cancer patients who cannot afford care, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation
  • Support services including support groups, assistance with finding financial resources, prescription refills and transportation to medical appointments
  • Education about the warning signs of breast cancer, methods of early detection and the latest treatment options
  • Cutting edge research to find a cure for breast cancer

    Jennifer Borba von Stauffenberg     Rachel Lipsitz
    Olive PR Solutions                  PR Chair, Susan G. Komen for the Cure
    619-955-5285                        858-449-9575

SOURCE Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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