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Making Our Voices Heard!

Komen Orange County, along with other Komen affiliates in California, advocate for non-partisan issues on key breast health and breast cancer-related bills at the local, state and national level. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Advocacy Alliance is the non-partisan voice for over 3.1 million breast cancers survivors and the people who love them. Our mission is to translate the Komen promise to end breast cancer forever into action at all levels of government to discover and deliver the cures.

On Komen Lobby Day, a delegation from Komen Orange County met with state lawmakers to raise a strong voice on two key breast health and breast cancer-related bills.  Our current advocacy priorities are as follows:

Limiting Out of Pocket Costs of Anticancer Medications AB 1860

AB 1860, proposed by Assemblywoman Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara), will ensure that oral anticancer medication – which is preferred by most patients or in many cases, the only form of treatment available – are affordable and covered by health plans or insurance.  Specifically, this bill would permanently require health care service plans and health insurer to limit patient out-of-pocket costs to $200 per filled prescription. The development of oral chemotherapy has allowed cancer patients to live a more normal and regular life while undergoing treatment, but currently, the high cost of this type of medication deters many patients from receiving the treatment they need in order to fight their disease.

Removing Arbitrary Cap for Breast (and Cervical) Cancer Treatment SB 945
Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) will introduce SB 945, a legislation that seeks to remove arbitrary caps in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program for low-income, underinsured, or uninsured women in California. Currently, the program caps treatment for breast cancer at 18 months, regardless of medical need. We believe that arbitrarily stopping cancer treatment for our most vulnerable women is risky and potentially life-threatening. SB 945 would remove those caps and allow the program to continue to provide treatment for cancer patients as long as necessary.

Advocates from Komen Orange County lobbying for breast health care for all.  L to R: Director of Mission Programs Ambrocia Lopez,  Board Member Dr. Devera Heard, and  Community Resource Advocate LarLeslie McDaniel.

Advocates from Komen Orange County lobbying for breast health care for all.
L to R: Director of Mission Programs Ambrocia Lopez, Board Member Dr. Devera Heard,  and Community Resource Advocate LarLeslie McDaniel.

Komen is proud to support these two bills that are critical to ensure breast cancer patients, especially in Orange County, are getting the treatment they need.

To learn more about our Advocacy Alliance, click here.

 

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Happy New Year and New You

Thanks to our supporters and generous donors, we wrapped up 2017 with a bang. Through our signature events like the Race for the Cure and Pink Tie Ball, and through individual contributions, we raise funds throughout the year that enable women, right here in Orange County, to detect and survive breast cancer. To date, we are proud to say that we have invested more than $40 million in education, diagnosis, treatment and support programs that serve uninsured or underinsured residents in our local community.

In 2017, we:

  • provided 8,307 free clinical breast exams to those who otherwise would not have received them.
  • provided 7,007 free mammograms to uninsured and underserved women.
  • detected breast cancer in 64 women, who would otherwise not have known about their cancer.
  • supported 86 women with financial assistance so they can finish their treatment.
  • reached 67,617 people through the year-long breast health education series.

As we look forward to 2018, we remain committed to the vision of a world without breast cancer and will continue to strive toward our Bold Goal of reducing the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. Here are some of the steps we’re taking to reach this objective:

Nationally, research on metastatic breast cancer (MBC) remains a priority for the Komen organization. Every 13 minutes, one woman or man dies from MBC, which causes nearly all of the 40,000-plus breast cancer deaths each year in the United States. To date, Komen has spent more than $166 million in over 400 research grants and more than 40 clinical trials focused on metastatic breast cancer. We won’t stop until we find a cure!

Locally, we’re excited for our partnership with Cal State Fullerton, working together to identify ways to enhance patient navigation services in Orange County. The goal is to ensure that breast cancer patients receive support all the way through treatment. More info to come in the upcoming months.

Individually, we invite you to Be More Than Pink and make a difference by being part of upcoming Komen events by attending, supporting, fundraising and/or volunteering! Visit the Komen’s events page regularly to get the latest updates on where we are in the community.

In Honor of Black History Month, Help Us Rewrite the Story

In October 2016, Susan G. Komen announced its bold goal to cut the nation’s 40,000 breast cancer deaths by half in the next decade. In order to reach this ambitious goal, Komen’s efforts will be twofold:

  • Extend breast health services to underserved and uninsured populations
  • Enhance research focus on the most aggressive forms of breast cancers

Black History Month

Did you know that African American women have a survival rate that’s 41 percent lower –sometimes even 74% in certain metropolitan area- than white women? It is about time we address this issue!

Nationwide, Komen launched the program Health Equity for All, subsidized by a $27 Million grant from Fund II Foundation. This initiative will initially target 10 metropolitan areas where mortality rates and late-stage diagnosis of African-American women are the highest. The goal: to reduce the mortality gap by 25 percent within five years in Memphis, St. Louis, Dallas, Los Angeles, Virginia Beach, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. Baltimore and Detroit are also high-priority areas and will be included in the program over the next year.

Statewide, The Susan G. Komen Circle of Promise California initiative was launched in 2014 by seven California Susan G. Komen Affiliates to provide African American women with education and breast cancer screening. On February 27, Circle of Promise will be hosting a roundtable for a much-needed discussion on the breast health of African-American Women in our community. We are thrilled to have Shyrea Thompson, Senior Manager, Special Initiatives at Susan G. Komen as a keynote speaker. You can attend this event by signing up here.

2017 roundtable invitation

Locally, you can also make a difference by joining the Circle, and becoming part of a movement that gives all African American women access to breast health information, services and support that can save lives.

Overall, there are many ways you can support us:

  • First, speak up. Talk about it.
  • Second, make the promise to take care of your own breast health and take action, such as:
    • Talking to your health care provider about your own personal risk
    • Having a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk
    • Knowing how your breasts look and feel and report any changes to your health care provider
    • Adopting a healthy lifestyle to help reduce your risk of breast cancer

Help us empower all African-American women to get information, get support and gain access to services that could save their lives. Rewrite the story. Change history. Get involved today!

Circle of Promise

On Sunday, Komen OC teamed up with the Komen Los Angeles Affiliate and launched the Circle of Promise campaign in Long Beach to create the largest Second Line. A Second Line is a “lively dancing procession that celebrates life at the conclusion of a funeral” and is traditionally a celebratory component of Mardi Gras festivals. The Long Beach event allowed Komen OC, along with participants, to Bury the Silence and Raise Our Voice as we end breast cancer in African American community.

The Komen Los Angeles County and Orange County Affiliates, in partnership with the Komen African American Community Partnership, a collaboration of local agencies and key stakeholders, launched the local Circle of Promise campaign to reach at risk women in Greater Long Beach, CA. The goals are to engage the local community in the breast cancer movement, increase knowledge of breast health and local resources, reduce stigma related to breast cancer and motivate the use of annual mammography screening. These efforts align with Komen National’s Circle of Promise and Queens of Keeping it Real Campaign.

Based upon statistical analyses of the regional Cancer Registry, the Affiliates found that African-American women in its service area are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a later stage and are at significantly increased risk of dying from the disease than Caucasian women. (Komen/ UCI Data Project; 2009) An individual who is diagnosed early has a 98% survival rate while those detected at an advanced stage have a 20% survival rate. For more information about this data, click here.

The Circle of Promise campaign is designed to engage African American women to help end breast cancer forever by increasing awareness, support, empowerment and action.  The program works by mobilizing the community to ensure that women everywhere have access to the care they need. For more information, please call our office at 714-957-9157.

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.

Komen OC Community Forum

Join us on December 16 from 12:00-1:30 p.m. as we address the recent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force report about mammography and hear from everyone involved in the Orange County breast cancer movement!

Our panel will include:
Dr. Lisa Guerra, MD, Hoag Hospital

Dr. Peter Scheid, Director of Medical Management, CalOptima

Sandra Rose, Director of Community Relations, CalOptima

Rhonda Folsom, MPH, CHES, Program Supervisor, Orange County   Cancer Detection Partnership, County of Orange Health Care Agency

Joanna L. Fawzy Morales, Esq. Director, Cancer Legal Resource Center Adjunct Professor of Law, Loyola Law School Disability Rights Legal Center

Chris Tannous, PhD, President Komen OC Board

Lisa Wolter, Executive Director, Komen OC

Participants are encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch to this meeting. Komen for the Cure will provide water, coffee and soft drinks.

Location: The Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® 3191-A Airport Loop Drive Costa Mesa, CA  92626

Space is limited. Please RSVP by Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at: jcastaneda@komenoc.org

Take A Stand!

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has released new guidelines that could significantly change breast cancer screening approaches in the U.S., recommending against routine mammograms for women 40-49 and questioning the value of breast cancer screenings for women older than 75.

However, extensive scientific evidence demonstrates that mammography reduces breast cancer mortality both among women aged 50 and older, as well as among women aged 40 to 49.

Sign our petition and help us ensure that all women have access to this life-saving screening.