Breast Cancer Survivors and Advocates from Across California Call for Continued Support

Sacramento, CA (PressExposure) March 16, 2011 -- Breast cancer survivors and advocates from across California traveled to Sacramento Wednesday, March 9th, to stress to policymakers the importance of the Every Woman Counts (EWC) program that helps detect breast cancer early. Organized by the state's Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Affiliates, the breast cancer advocates also urged lawmakers to maintain their commitment to women in California, by preserving funding to the EWC program, which provides vital breast cancer screening services for California's uninsured and underinsured women.

"We fully understand the tough economic situation our elected leaders face and the difficult choices they must make," said Laura Farmer Sherman, Executive Director. "It's important to remember that early detection through regular cancer screening is a key to surviving breast cancer. For many women, the state's screening program ensures that a lost job or lost insurance doesn't result in a lost life."

"We are all just one biopsy away from a changed life. That's why we need to focus on prevention and early detection measures so that we begin treatment early, when it's more successfully and cost effectively treated," said Farmer Sherman.

In January 2010, the California Department of Public Health (DPH) shut the EWC's doors for the remainder of the fiscal year and closed access to the program for women ages 40 to 49. That last cut was particularly troubling because almost half of the women screened by EWC are in their 40s.

The California Affiliates of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® applaud the bipartisan effort of our state leaders for honoring their commitment to women in California by restoring funding to EWC in the state budget last October. On December 1, 2010, the DPH officially reopened the doors and began providing life-saving breast cancer screening to eligible women ages 40 and over. The California Affiliates call on our state leaders to protect funding for EWC for the next fiscal year.

The California Affiliates recognized the efforts of Senator Noreen Evans (SD-2) by awarding her the "Legislator of the Year" for leading the way to restoring EWC for women in California last year.

The California Affiliates also honored the tireless commitment by late Senator Jenny Oropeza for her work on women's health issues during her tenure in the state legislator. As a tribute to Senator Oropeza's dedication to fostering protections for women's health issues, the Los Angeles County Affiliate, in joint collaboration with the California Affiliates, have established the Senator Jenny Oropeza Public Policy Internship. Ms. Rebecca Rodstein, a Master's of Public Health student at USC, is the first intern to serve in the Senator Jenny Oropeza Public Policy Internship.

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The Komen Affiliates noted that they are critical community partners. Komen has invested more than $23 million in active research grants in California and there are currently 73 active research grants in the state, including awards to UCLA, UCSF, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, Stanford University, UC Davis School of Medicine and the Burnham Institute for Medical Research.

The Komen Affiliates that serve California invested over $10 million in their local communities last year for early detection and treatment of breast cancer, breast health education and outreach. Nationwide, Komen Affiliates invested a total of $130 million in their local communities.

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Press Release Submitted On: March 16, 2011 at 2:53 am
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