Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:48 am Post subject: California Breast Cancer Survivors and Advocates
Breast cancer survivors and advocates from all seven California Affiliates of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® signaled their alarm today at cuts to California’s Every Woman Counts program, the state’s breast and cervical cancer screening program for low-income uninsured and underserved women. The recently announced cuts effectively deny access to vital breast cancer screening services for 1.2 million women until further notice.
San Diego, CA, July 02, 2010 -- Breast cancer survivors and advocates from all seven California Affiliates of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® signaled their alarm today at cuts to California’s Every Woman Counts program, the state’s breast and cervical cancer screening program for low-income uninsured and underserved women. The recently announced cuts effectively deny access to vital breast cancer screening services for 1.2 million women until further notice.
In November, the California Department of Health Care Services announced no new breast cancer screening enrollments would be accepted as of January 1, 2010, but the restriction was expected to be lifted at the start of the new fiscal year, today, July 1, 2010. The state also announced that women age 40 to 49 were no longer eligible for the program.
“We fully understand the tough economic situation our elected leaders face and the difficult choices they must make. Yet balancing the budget on the backs of our state’s neediest women is a terrible mistake that could have tragic consequences. We should not deny women who have very few options and limited resources access to screening and treatment services that may save their life,” said Laura Farmer Sherman, Executive Director, San Diego.
Every Women Counts (EWC) is a joint program by the state Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Komen notes that early detection of breast cancer is a key to surviving the disease. When breast cancer is detected early before it has spread beyond the breast, the 5-year relative survival rate is 98 percent, but plummets to 23 percent when it has spread to other parts of the body. Unfortunately, women with low incomes who are uninsured or underinsured — like those eligible for Every Women Counts — are more likely to skip potentially life-saving cancer screenings, which leads to later diagnoses, larger tumors and lower survival rates.
In California alone, 21,130 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and more than 4,200 will lose their battle with the disease.
“We know the need will continue regardless of the ability of the state to meet it. Komen Affiliates will continue to do our part to meet the needs of underserved women; yet, these resources are extremely limited and not available in all areas. We cannot do this alone,” said Farmer Sherman. “Komen for the Cure and its Affiliates have long been concerned that one-third of women in the U.S. today — some 23 million — are already not receiving regular recommended screenings due to lack of access, education or awareness. Unfortunately, the decision to continue restricting access to the Every Woman Counts program makes the problem even worse.”
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 and 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®, we have invested more than $1.5 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit www.komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.
About the California Collaborative of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®
The California Affiliate Collaborative of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® represents the seven Komen California Affiliates: Sacramento Valley, Central Valley, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Inland Empire, Orange County and San Diego. The Collaborative expresses breast cancer concerns of over 198,000 California Komen constituents made up of activists, survivors and volunteers. Formed in 2003, we joined together forming one voice to fulfill the Komen promise, to save lives and end breast cancer forever.
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