Mammogram News

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now recommend annual mammograms for women ages 40-49. These recommendations pattern Komen for the Cure’s longstanding position that women of average risk should be getting annual mammograms beginning in their 40s.

Check out the video below, where Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® Founder and CEO Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker talks about the facts of breast cancer screening on the CBS Early Show. Enjoy, and let us know what you think!

Share Your Story

Komen OC is looking for breast cancer survivor and co-survivor stories for the Orange County Register’s Race for the Cure section in September. If you or anyone you know has participated in the Race or is involved with Komen and might be interested in participating, please leave a comment below with your email address in the form field and we will be sure to get in touch.

 

1 a Minute

Every 69 seconds, somewhere in the world, a woman dies of breast cancer. NCM Fathom and UniGlobe Entertainment have partnered to offer breast cancer survivors and supporters a moving and inspirational docu-drama, 1 a Minute, a LIVE One night event in over 500 theaters nationwide on October 6, 2010.Written, produced and directed by Indo-American actress and breast cancer survivor Namrata Singh Gujral of Americanizing Shelley and Kaante and narrated by Kelly McGillis from Top Gun1 a Minute features a group of international superstar breast cancer survivors including Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker. www.1aminute.com/

A Global Conversation

Chris Tannous, center, at conference

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is continually expanding its Global Initiatives and Orange County Board President Chris Tannous is an active participant. At the 2010 Conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists, Tannous joined in a roundtable discussion sharing best practices in patient services, outreach and education with the Breast Cancer Network Japan – Akebono-kai.  This was an opportunity to start a dialog with a well-established breast cancer organization in Japan.

At the Conference, Tannous was on a panel along with two medical oncologists, two breast cancer survivors and a translator. The primary areas of discussion were: talking with your doctor, employment issues and patient support services.

Highlights of the discussion included the fact that in Japan a patient would never take someone with them to an appointment, but would instead use a tape-recorder to record the session to share with anyone else. They were surprised to learn that there is an organization like the Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC) that can help cancer patients with employment issues.  In Japan, there is no such organization and they were interested in learning more. Although Akebono-kai is celebrating its 30th anniversary, it is only recently that they considered involving spouses in their programs.  The notion of “co-survivor” was completely new, but an avenue that they intend to explore further.  Finally, there was the realization that advocacy comes in many forms – research, fundraising, public policy, patient support and outreach and education.  Although they focus on patient support and outreach and education, they are ready to expand their advocacy efforts.

Tannous, a breast cancer survivor and Komen Advocate in Science, is hopeful that the connection might lead to a global partnership — everyone involved is interested in future collaborations and sharing of best practices.

Advocates in Science

Komen Advocates in Science Carole Baas, PhD and Chris Tannous, PhD

Chris Tannous is Komen OC’s remarkable board president as well as a dedicated Komen Advocate in Science. Her perspective as a breast cancer survivor provides scientists a unique and valuable outlook on the cancer experience and the urgency of finding the cures. Chris recently represented Komen OC at the 101st Annual Meeting of the American Association of Cancer Researchers. Click here to read an article on her findings from this year’s conference. If you are interested in becoming a Susan G. Komen for the Cure Advocate in Science, go to http://www.komengrantsaccess.org/ and select the advocate link.

Learn About Clinical Trials

Have you ever been interested in a clinical trial, but didn’t know enough about how they work? Don’t miss an educational presentation on Wednesday, May 12 from 6 to 7 p.m., called “Leading Edge Care: Integrating Clinical Trials in the Cancer Care Continuum.”

The seminar will provide you with an overview about clinical trials and their role in treating cancer. You will learn about the basics of clinical trials and how you can access a broad range of trials locally. Participants will learn the different types of trials available and the process for signing up for a trial if one is right for you.

The seminar is being held at the Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment at St. Joseph Hospital of Orange in the city of Orange. RSVP 714-734-6233 or Stacey.fischer@stjoe.org.

This is the first in a comprehensive breast health education series presented by the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, in partnership with Orange County hospitals. Other seminar topics and dates are listed at www.komenoc.org. It is free and open to the public.

Catch Monica’s Spirit

Monica at the Komen 3-Day Walk, all smiles

Monica Olmos is training for the Komen 3-Day Walk in San Diego in November. It is familiar ground for her. This will be her 8th year doing it. “The experience is contagious. You will be smiling for many months to come,” she says, and she should know.

“I am training by walking every other day up to 5 -8 miles a day. I’ve realized that it’s not healthy to push the miles if my body tells me otherwise.” Monica is attuned to her body and her motivations. She is an 8-year breast cancer survivor. “I have found each year a new and profound reason to walk, whether it’s for the underserved or uninsured women, or for my doctors and nurses who went above and beyond compassionately for my health and emotional needs,” Monica tell us.

Monica was part of a team for her first 3-Day Walk and enjoyed the group comraderie of training and raising money. In her second year, her team raised $32,000 with much collaboration. “More recently I walked the 3 Day without a team. This allowed me more freedom . . .I was a lot more at peace walking at my own pace and taking as many pit stops as I wished.”

Whether you opt for the team approach or walking as an individual, you are never alone  during the 3 Day. Monica’s advice: “Walk at your own pace. It’s not a competition. Having the right perspective can make your walk more inspiring, not to mention others will benefit from it as well. It’s probably the only time your life when you will have thousands of people happy to see you and support you for 3 whole days.” Inspired by Monica? Go ahead, register at www.the3day.org.

African Americans and Cancer

The greatest risk factor for getting breast cancer is being a woman. Race is not considered a factor that might increase a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer. However, the rates of developing and dying from the disease differ among ethnic groups. For example, African American women are 55% more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage than non-Hispanic white women and have 44% increased risk of dying from the disease. African American women are also more likely to be diagnosed at a younger age with larger and more aggressive tumors.

The “African American Cancer Care Conference” scheduled to be held on Saturday, May 15 will teach African American women about early detection and screening for breast cancer. The conference is open to health care professionals, caregivers and anyone in the community to attend and learn more about breast, cervical, colon, ovarian, prostate and lung cancer. The conference will be held at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The conference is being coordinated by the G.R.E.E.N. Foundation, a grant recipient of the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure for the past five years.

Medical doctors will lead two sessions (one in the morning and one in the afternoon) on breast cancer topics. More information is at www.komenoc.org. To register for the conference, call 714-507-0338 or email thegreenfoundation3@yahoo.com. For more information about racial and ethnic differences in breast cancer, go to www.komen.org and go to Understanding Breast Cancer.

California Wins Award for Advocacy

Chris Tannous from Komen Orange County (third from the right) is there as the California Collation is honored for advocacy.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure® awarded its seven California Affiliates with the “State Policy of the Year Award” for their advocacy to ensure access to breast cancer screening and treatment in the face of significant state budget cuts.

The “State Policy Campaign of the Year Award” is presented to a Komen Affiliate or Affiliates who advanced breast health issues and brought positive changes through their public policy initiatives at the state level. The seven Komen California Affiliates formed the California Affiliate Collaborative to work with one voice on breast cancer issues in California.

In 2009, the group supported three bills to expand access to breast health services for underserved women in California. The group protested cuts to “Every Woman Counts,” California’s program to provide free mammography screenings for uninsured and underinsured women who do not qualify for Medicaid, including the elimination of eligibility for women age 40-49. Together, the seven Affiliates have been a vital voice for Komen and women in need across the state.

Chris Tannous, president of the Board of Directors for Komen Orange County, was in Dallas for the award presentation.

The members of the California Affiliate Collaborative, in addition to Komen Orange County, are: Komen Central Valley Affiliate in Fresno, Komen Inland Empire Affiliate in Temecula, Komen Los Angeles County Affiliate, Komen Sacramento Valley Affiliate, Komen San Diego Affiliate and Komen San Francisco Bay Affiliate.

South Asian Women Needed for Study

Are you a South Asian woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer? Do you know someone who fits that description? A research study is being done and strictly confidential interviews are being scheduled. Drs. Beth Glenn and Roshan Bastani of the UCLA Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Research are conducting the study to assess the unique needs of South Asian women diagnosed with breast cancer. They would like to hear about your relationships, your satisfaction with healthcare providers, and your sources of social support during your cancer experience.

Interested South Asian women (Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi, Nepali, Maldivian and Bhutanese) who have been diagnosed with breast cancer should contact Neetu Chawla, who will conduct the interviews in English. Please contact her at nchawla@ucla.edu or 310-825-7430. You can also contact Dr. Beth Glenn at 310-206-9715. Women will be offered $30 after completing the one-on-one interview.

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