Susan G. Komen® California Announces Circle of Promise to Reduce Breast Cancer Deaths in African American Women

Susan G. Komen® Orange County is proud to be a part of a statewide initiative to raise awareness for  the breast healthcare disparities among African American women.The two-year intensive initiative, which launched last week, addressed access to care and lack of follow-up care as major contributing factors to the higher mortality rate in African American women. Nationwide, African American women are 41% more likely than Caucasian women to die from breast cancer. This alarming trend is likely the result of compounding social, cultural, financial and geographic barriers, and is simply unacceptable in light of the overall improvement in mortality rates since the 1990s.

NBC Los Angeles captures Dr. Robina Smith, a breast surgeon, speaking at St. Jude Medical Center

NBC Los Angeles captures Dr. Robina Smith, a breast surgeon, speaking about the Susan G. Komen California Circle of Promise initiative

On June 11, seven Affiliates of Susan G. Komen® California, including Komen Orange County gathered in Culver City for a press conference and launch event announcing the Susan G. Komen of California® Circle of Promise. During the news conference with medical, community and media leaders, we announced a collaboration on a best practice model to address breast cancer disparities at both the micro and macro levels, specifically focusing on African American women who are rarely or never screened, low-income, uninsured or recipients of Medi-Cal.

As we work together as a community to raise awareness for the breast health challenges African American women face, Susan G. Komen® wants all women to make a commitment to follow the four steps to Breast Self Awareness while also making a promise to be an ambassador to spread the word for others in your community to do the same. Protect yourself with these four easy steps:

  • Know Your Risk – Lean about your family health history and talk to your health care provider about your own personal risk.
  • Get Screened – Ask your doctor which screening tests are right for you and if you are at a higher risk.
  • Know What’s Normal for Your Body – Know how your breasts look and feel and report any changes to your doctor. Examine your breasts monthly.
  • Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices – The right health choices may reduce your overall risk of developing breast cancer.

Susan G. Komen® Orange County needs you to help spread the word. Invite your girlfriends, mothers, sisters, daughters and co-workers to learn more and join the Circle of Promise.

Support for the Susan G. Komen® Circle of Promise California Initiative is made possible in part by a grant from the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation LLC.

Fighting for a Cure, 365 Days a Year

Battling breast cancer takes strength and courage, but it’s important to know that you’re not alone. This year, through admissions from celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Sharon Osborne, we learned that breast cancer can affect anyone. It is what we do when we find out that we are entering into a battle against cancer that can be the greatest determining factor of our success. However, the biggest difference between celebrities and the rest of us, aside from the fame, is the fortune.

Unfortunately, many women struggle to find the funds they need to receive tests and treatments necessary to fight – or prevent – this vicious disease. That’s why we created “Diagnostics 365” – a campaign that was created to fund diagnostic tests like biopsies and ultrasound guided mammograms—that uninsured women need to find out if they have breast cancer.

This year we were given more than $2.1 million to support breast health and cancer programs. At this year’s Grants Award Breakfast, we awarded more than $1 million in grants to local nonprofit organizations who are committed to serving local women in the community in the fight against breast cancer. Programs like these are made possible as a result of the funds donated to our Komen OC affiliate, to ensure life-saving breast health care services are accessible to all women in our community regardless of age, race, orientation or income level.

We are here to make sure than anyone who has 

breast cancer and needs help, gets help”.

  –Sue Parks, 2012 Board President

Last year, we took on the 3200 Mammogram Challenge, and it was wildly successful. We were able to help more than 2,400 women in Orange County alone, receive this vital exam. This year we want to extend another challenge through our Diagnostics 365 initiative. We have already helped more than 700 women in our community receive these diagnostics tests, and we invite you to support women in need for the next 365 days, and for many years to come. For more information on Diagnostics 365 and opportunities to get involved, visit http://ow.ly/s35TH.

Photo Courtesy of Margaret Soss, Komen OC Grants Award Breakfast 2013

Celebrating Komen OC’s Survivors

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Thank you to all our family, friends and supporters who celebrated our survivors by walking with Susan G. Komen Orange County at the 2013 Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade.

Nearly 30 survivors, co-survivor family and friends and friends of Komen Orange County were in attendance, painting the street pink in honor of Komen OC’s mission of serving people and saving lives. For most, the color combination of pink with red, white and blue may seem like an unusual pairing, but both represent an emblem of freedom. For those shining bright in pink, the color signified a celebration that recognized survivors and the striving liberation from breast cancer.

In the march celebrating independence,  breast cancer survivors, co-survivors and supporters of Komen OC rallied to walk for breast cancer, which affects one in eight women in her lifetime.

From all of us at Komen OC, we give our deepest thanks to all those who participated.

Upcoming events:

July 10th – Join us at our Komen Education Series at UC Irvine from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The series is free and open to the public and covers breast health care topics including prevention, screening, diagnostics, treatment and survivorship.

Don’t forget! Registration is now open Komen Orange County’s Race for the Cure.

Register today!

Twitter Chat with AACR and Komen on Tuesday 3/19!

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Susan G. Komen is excited to be co-hosting its first Twitter chat on breast cancer prevention, risk reduction and screening with the American Association for Cancer Research.

Join us and the conversation on Tuesday, March 19 from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. PT on Twitter using the official hashtag #BCPrevention. The other hashtag used in conjunction with the event will be #SGK.

Dr. Christopher Li with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center will be co-hosting the Twitter chat with Susan G. Komen’s vey own Chandini Portteus, VP, Research Evaluation and Scientific Programs. During the inaugural Twitter chat, Dr. Li and Chandini will be available and answering questions on breast cancer prevention. Be sure to follow @AACR and @KomenfortheCure as these are the accounts they will be tweeting from. Don’t forget to also follow @KomenOC and join the conversation in Orange County!

Happy Tweeting!

Team Captains Ready to Race

On Tuesday, June 19, Susan G. Komen Orange County hosted team captains at the Race for the Cure Team Captain Kickoffs. As teams helped raise about 50 percent of the 2011 Race for the Cure’s revenue, group efforts are key in the organization’s goal of serving women and saving lives.

Two kickoff events, one at noon and one in the evening, allowed captains to not only learn more about the Race for the Cure and understand the impact of donations, but also share ideas to fundraise. From simple conversation to using a jar to collect change, these teams are inspiring one another and others in the community in the fight to end breast cancer forever. Team captains also received brochures and other collateral in order to spread the breast health mission and to create more buzz about their own teams.

It’s never too late to sign up your team for this year’s Race! Early bird registration is still available for a discounted rate of $30 and fees will go up June 30.

The next Team Captain Kickoffs are:

  • July 26, 12 p.m. or 6 p.m., at the Komen Orange County Office
  • August 25, 10 a.m., at the South Coast Collection Registration Suite

To reserve your spot for one of those dates, email teams@komenoc.org.

Irvine-based OB/GYNs Lead Breast Cancer Training Seminar in Zambia

University of California, Irvine (UCI) OB/GYN fellows, Dr. Fong Liu and Dr. Sara Jordan, traveled to Zambia in February to spread breast health education with the support of our local community including Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Orange County and UCI.

Recently, Dr. Liu and Dr. Jordan stopped by the Komen Orange County offices and told their story during a Lunch ‘n Learn.

Breast cancer is the second cause of cancer and cancer death in Zambia. (Cervical cancer is number one.) There is only one mammogram machine owned by the government that services Lusaka, Zambia, a town of 1.7 million.

Dr. Groesbeck Parham, the Co-Director, CIDRZ Cervical Cancer Prevention Program in Zambia, asked Dr. Liu and Dr. Jordan to lead a half-day training seminar for breast cancer to a group of nurses and doctors in Zambia.

There is no subspecialty training in Zambia so there are no specialized breast surgeons like there are in the U.S. Doctors are hoping to establish programs in Zambia for breast health education and cancer prevention.

Because there is widespread need for research, they are also trying to bring to light the characteristics of the women who present with cancer, the type of cancer they present with (stage, cell type, etc.) and how the diagnosis and treatment affect their quality of life.

Dr. Liu and Dr. Jordan brought the Komen (and OC affiliate) mission with them to Zambia in the form of breast self-awareness education materials, Komen wrist bands, Race for the Cure T-shirts, baseballs and scarves. A recent note from Dr. Parham expresses that the nurses there still ask for more of these materials.

We thank Dr. Fong Liu and Dr. Sara Jordan for their commitment to breast health education and helping women at home and abroad. 

2012 Breast Health Education Series Kicks Off on June 5

In partnership with local breast centers and other nonprofit organizations, we created a comprehensive Breast Health Education Series beginning in June through November to educate the community on various topics related to breast health and cancer awareness.  

All sessions are free and open to the public and cover topics such as prevention, screening, diagnostics, treatment and survivorship.

The first session on June 5 will cover “Nutrition & Breast Health: The Power of Your Plate” presented by Karen Godinez, RD, CSO, Registered Oncology Dietitian at SJMC. During the course, Godinez will explain how to increase your awareness of the connection between nutrition and breast health. Find out if what you eat is as important as how much.

Also in June, we’ll present a course on “Cancer and Your Rights” by Laura Riley, Esq. where you can learn about health insurance and your employment rights with a cancer diagnosis.

For more information and to review the entire Breast Health Education Series schedule, please visit the Komen OC website.

We look forward to seeing you!

Komen OC and Northgate Gonzalez Markets Partner up for Breast Health Outreach to Latina Women

On Monday, April 16, the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, in collaboration with the YWCA and Northgate Gonzalez Markets, teamed up to give free clinical breast exams and mammograms to 34 Hispanic women at the Northgate Gonzalez Market in La Habra. Latina women are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage from breast cancer and therefore are at increased risk of dying from the disease, so it is important that they are provided with information and resources to increase rates of early detection.

The effort will continue through the month of May at different Northgate Gonzalez Markets throughout Orange County. Eligible women must be 40 years or older, have a low household income and no medical insurance or an insurance that has a high deductible or co-payment.

For more information on upcoming events such as this one, please contact the Komen Orange County office at (714) 957-9157 or visit www.komenoc.org.

 

 

Orange and L.A. County Susan G. Komen for the Cure Affiliates Win Promise Award for African American Breast Health Initiative

Nearly 1,000 volunteers, survivors and representatives from various Komen Affiliates, including ours, came together March 1-3 for the 2012 Susan G. Komen for the Cure Leadership Conference. The event in Fort Worth, Texas, recognized the efforts of Affiliates, individuals and grantees who work hard to advocate Komen’s mission of saving lives and ending breast cancer.

This year, the Orange County and Los Angeles Komen Affiliates had the honor of receiving the national Promise Award for a combined initiative focused on decreasing breast cancer mortality among African American women in the Greater Long Beach Area. The effort, which kicked-off with an event titled  “Bury the Silence: Raise Your Voice” in October 2011, aims to engage the community in gaining knowledge of the disease through culturally appropriate materials, training breast health ambassadors at local African American churches and increasing access to mobile mammography for uninsured women.

If you are interested in getting involved to decrease health care disparities through community organizing and access to care, please contact Erin at our offices: (714)957-9157 x 25.

Kick off the night and “Go Pink!”

Get your cleats and soccer ball ready for the “Go Pink!” Night hosted by the Anaheim Bolts on Sunday, Feb. 19, as the team battles against Revolucion Tijuana. Players will sport special pink jerseys that attendees will be able to bid on at a silent auction—with proceeds going directly to Komen Orange County.  Various booths and tables will also provide more information about our Affiliate’s mission and programs.

The Anaheim Bolts recognizes the importance of community involvement within the city and its surrounding areas. Attendees are encouraged to wear pink attire to help bring awareness to the fight to end breast cancer forever. Donations will also be accepted on this night.

For tickets or more information, please visit www.boltsoccer.com. Details below:

Where: Anaheim Convention Center

800 West Katella Avenue

Anaheim, CA 92802

When:  Sunday, Feb. 19, 6:00 p.m.

After a 14-year absence, the Anaheim Bolts recently brought indoor soccer back to Orange County. We are excited that the game is back in our community!

 

 

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