Susan G. Komen Sets Bold Goal to Reduce U.S. Breast Cancer Deaths by 50 Percent in 10 Years

Plan Targets Health Equity for All, Enhanced Research Focus for
Most Lethal Breast Cancers

DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Susan G. Komen breast cancer organization announced a bold plan
today to reduce the nation’s 40,000 breast cancer deaths by 50
percent in 10 years,
by improving access to quality and timely
cancer care for the underserved and enhancing Komen’s research focus on
lethal breast cancers.

“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.”

$27 Million Advanced for Health Equity

Salerno said today that Fund II Foundation made a grant worth
approximately $27 million for a program initially targeting 10
metropolitan areas to significantly reduce what she called the
“appalling” difference in death rates between African-American and white
women. African-American women are nearly 40 percent more likely to die
of breast cancer than white women; in some cities, that gap is as high
as 74 percent.

“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.

Salerno thanked Fund II Foundation for the grant that makes the
initiative possible. “The generosity of Fund II Foundation will save
lives,” Salerno said. “We are humbled by the faith that Fund II
Foundation has placed in this initiative and its interest in ensuring
health equity for African-American citizens.”

Fund II Foundation President, Robert F. Smith said, “No longer should
African-American women be more likely to die from a breast cancer
diagnosis than others. Through this grant supporting Susan G. Komen,
Fund II Foundation will help address these unfair disparities across our

Komen’s African-American Health Equity Initiative targets cities where
mortality rates and late-stage diagnosis of African-American women are
highest. The goal: to reduce the mortality gap by 25 percent within five
years of beginning work in each city.

The initial targeted cities are Memphis, Tenn., St. Louis, Mo., Dallas,
Los Angeles, Virginia Beach, Va., Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Washington,
D.C. and Philadelphia. Baltimore and Detroit have been identified as
high-priority areas as the program expands over the next year.

The African-American Health Equity Initiative supplements the work that
Komen and its network of 100 U.S. Affiliates already are doing to remove
barriers to cancer care. Komen and Komen Affiliates support thousands of
local programs that provide screenings, treatment assistance, emergency
financial aid, medical supplies and living expense for underserved

The organization has invested more than $2 billion over 34 years for
these programs aimed at uninsured, under-insured, and medically
vulnerable populations.

“We will never waver from our commitment to remove barriers of language,
geography, economics or culture for all people facing this
disease. Every woman or man must be able to access and receive
high-quality breast health and breast cancer care, be supported through
their treatment and into survivorship,” Salerno said.


The second prong of Komen’s plan enhances Komen’s focus on aggressive
forms of breast cancer and metastatic disease (stage IV or cancer that
has spread to other parts of the body).

As the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research (investing
more than $920 million since inception), Komen has funded nearly $160
million in metastatic disease research since its founding. Komen has
funded another $110 million in research 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

“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.

The new initiative aims to advance research into new treatments for
aggressive and metastatic disease. Komen also will seek to leverage
next-generation technology that can detect breast cancer at its very
earliest stages to prevent recurrence and metastasis.

Progress to Date

Salerno said Komen’s bold goal builds on the progress of the breast
cancer movement since Komen was founded in 1982. “Death rates from
breast cancer have declined by 37 percent since 1990. We have more
treatments than at any time in our history. We’ve come a very long way
from a time when breast cancer couldn’t be discussed publicly. Our new
bold goal requires us to take a deeper dive and stretch further to
ensure that every woman or man can be told, ‘There is help and
hope for you.’”

About Susan G. Komen®

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization,
funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit outside of
the federal government while providing real-time help to those facing
the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $920
million in research and provided more than $2 billion in funding to
screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs
serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen
was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G.
Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Visit
or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at

About Fund II Foundation

Fund II Foundation makes grants to 501(c)(3) public charities in five
areas: 1) preservation of the African-American experience, 2)
safeguarding human dignity by giving a voice to the voiceless and
promoting human rights, 3) improving environmental conservation and
providing outdoor education that enables people of all ages and
backgrounds to enjoy the numerous benefits of the great outdoors, 4)
facilitating music education, particularly in primary and secondary
schools, to nourish both the mind and the soul, 5) and sustaining the
uniquely American values of entrepreneurship, empowerment, innovation
and security. For more information on Fund II Foundation, visit


Susan G. Komen®
Andrea Rader, 972-855-4382