Komen sets bold goal: Cut breast cancer deaths in half by 2026
Posted September 13, 2016
The Susan G. Komen breast cancer organization on Tuesday announced a new goal to cut deaths from breast cancer, currently 40,000 per year, in half by 2026.
“We know that people die of breast cancer for two reasons: a lack of high-quality breast cancer care accessible to everyone, and a lack of treatments for the most aggressive and deadly forms of this disease,” said Dr. Judith A. Salerno, president and CEO of Susan G. Komen. “We are taking direct action designed to solve these problems to reduce breast cancer deaths by half in the U.S. within the next decade.”
Komen will leverage a $27 million private donation to close the gap that sees African-American 40 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than white women.
“This constitutes a public health crisis that must be addressed, first in the cities where these death rates are highest, and then in all areas of the country,” Salerno said.
Komen will target Afircan-American women in 10 metropolitan areas where mortality rates and late-stage diagnosis are highest: Memphis, Tenn., St. Louis, Mo., Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Washington, D.C., Virginia Beach, Va., and Philadelphia. Baltimore and Detroit will be next on the list as the program expands.
The second prong of Komen’s plan is to focus on aggressive forms of breast cancer – such as triple negative, inflammatory breast cancer and hormone-positive forms of breast cancer – that are resistant to standard treatments and metastatic disease (stage IV or cancer that has spread to other parts of the body).
“The majority of breast cancer deaths are from metastatic breast cancer. We also know that aggressive forms of breast cancer are more likely to recur and spread, so we are focusing our efforts in both of these areas,” Salerno said.
Since 1990, the rate of death from breast cancer has declined by 37 percent across the United States.