African American Breast Health Initiative Results Announced

 

Photo: Facebook

Photo: Facebook

SAN DIEGO – Susan G. Komen San Diego (Komen San Diego), the County’s largest funder of free breast cancer services and support, is pleased to announce the results from the first two years of the state-wide Circle of Promise initiative. The Initiative’s goal is to decrease the high mortality the and late-stage incidence rate of breast cancer among African American women by activating the community through organizing practices to increase system efficiency and access to quality care, as well as support for targeted awareness, direct education, screening and other resources. Komen’s Circle of Promise seeks to motivate and empower the black community by mobilizing women and men to get active about their breast health and involved in the larger community, encouraging others to do the same.

The inaugural twenty-four months of Circle of Promise have resulted in reaching, supporting and engaging San Diego women in the following way:
677 African American women have completed a mammogram screening; exceeding the original screening goal by 198 percent.
42 African American women have been diagnosed with breast cancer and have been navigated through diagnosis and treatment.
10,627 African American women have received local breast cancer risk, screening and treatment.
2,444 African American women have been directly educated one-on-one, or in small group consultations throughout San Diego.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths among African American women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Although incidence rates are lower, African American women suffer significantly higher mortality rates, 41 percent higher than their Caucasian female counterparts. Additionally, African American women tend to have factors that influence a poorer prognosis such as later stage diagnosis, biologic and genetic differences in tumors, and barriers to health care access among others. For women without health coverage, the burden is even higher – uninsured women have a 30 to 50 percent increased risk of dying from breast cancer than those with insurance.

At the launch of Circle of Promise in the spring of 2014, the statewide affiliates of Susan G. Komen committed to:

Provide a mammogram to least 2,000 women and permanently improve access to community health networks.
Provide high quality breast cancer education and medical services to a community of women where one does not currently exist.
Provide a permanent safety-net infrastructure through community collaboration.
Enhance community partnerships, with far-reaching and enduring results.
Navigate individual women into a medical home so that they will gain access to knowledge and resources that will serve them throughout their lifetime.
Improve systems of care and mobilize all women to make breast health a priority.

The results of the inaugural twenty-four months of Circle of Promise state-wide are as follows:

2,559 African American women have completed a mammogram screening; exceeding the original screening goal by 128 percent.
69 African American women have been diagnosed with breast cancer and have been navigated through diagnosis and treatment.
52,744 African American women have received local breast health information.
21,399 African American women have been directly educated one-on-one, or in small group consultations throughout San Diego.

“The Circle of Promise initiative is vital to spreading the word to African American women in our community about the importance of getting mammograms,” said Dr. Jacob Asher, Anthem Blue Cross Foundation. “When discovered early, the most common breast cancer has a nearly 99 percent survival rate, which highlights the need for early detection. Through collaboration, hard work and trust building over the past two years, we have learned the most effective ways to make the biggest impact and improve breast health in the African American community.”

“Komen San Diego is committed to providing the resources and support to detect breast cancer early as well as be with them on their entire breast cancer journey,” said Laura Farmer Sherman, president and CEO, Komen San Diego. “The Anthem Blue Cross Foundation helped mobilize San Diego and the other six affiliates by providing valuable resources and support to bring this initiative to fruition. We are immensely grateful for the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation’s support and look forward to working together as we enter the next stage of this important work.”

About Circle of Promise
Circle of Promise is a statewide initiative that addresses breast cancer disparities at the system, community, and individual levels, specifically targeting African American women, 40 and above, who are rarely or never screened, low-income, uninsured or recipients of Medi-Cal, in order to provide access to breast health care services and quality health care. The goal of the Initiative is to empower African American women with the knowledge and resources to enter and seamlessly move through a quality, culturally competent and coordinated system of breast health care.

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