Susan G. Komen’s Mammogram Voucher Program
MAKING A DIFFERENCE THROUGH GRANTS
The most important way that Komen Pittsburgh fulfills its mission is through grant-making. Funds are raised through affiliate events such as the Race for the Cure and Paws for the Cure as well as individual and corporate donations and third-party events. Seventy-five percent of all funds received remain in the service area of 34 counties in western and central Pennsylvania and the remaining 25% funds national scientific research.
Komen Pittsburgh funded more than $1.1 million in grants for 2013. Beginning this year, the Komen Pittsburgh grant cycle will run July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015.
The grant process begins with a request for applications (RFA). In the RFA, Komen Pittsburgh describes the needs in our community, as identified in the Komen Pittsburgh Community Profile. Non-profit community health providers submit their applications by a deadline, clarifying how they would use grant funding to fulfill the community needs.
Once all applications have been received by Komen Pittsburgh, an independent and confidential Grants Review Panel reads all of the applications. The panel ranks the applications based on a thorough scoring system and an intense discussion to evaluate how the applications meet the Community Profile priorities. The grants are then funded based upon the rank determined by the panel and the amount of money available to fund grants for that specific year. Komen Pittsburgh has funded at least $1 million in Community Breast Health programs each year since 2006
Did you know that there are many financial resources that can help people living with breast cancer?
Unfortunately, costs for breast cancer treatments and procedures are high due to the number of hospital departments involved and out-of-pocket costs. Breast cancer patients already have enough stress in their lives without the added stress of medical bills, so there are many resources available to reduce the financial burden on people with breast cancer.
The first place you can turn to for information on financial resources is a trusted health care provider, such as a physician, nurse or social workers. Most hospitals and treatment centers have financial counselors. They can help you with the details of your insurance paperwork and give you an estimate of the cost of your treatment. Financial counselors can also help you work out a payment plan for the costs you will have to cover. If you are unable to pay, some places may be willing to reduce or waive the costs if you ask. And, no matter your income, you may qualify for financial aid from federal, state or local programs. A financial counselor can help you learn about these programs. Hospital discharge planners, patient relation offices, patient service offices, nurse navigators and patient navigators at hospitals or managed care organizations may also be able to provide information on resources and advice about financial matters.
For questions about your insurance policy, state insurance agencies and insurance companies can be helpful. Many state and national organizations provide information about financial assistance and insurance. For more information about financial resources for breast cancer patients, visit http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer/FinancialResources.html.
LIVING WITH METASTATIC BREAST CANCER
Metastatic breast cancer, also known as advanced or stage IV breast cancer, is breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast and axillary lymph nodes to other parts of the body. Less than five percent of initial breast cancer diagnoses are metastatic, as metastatic breast cancer often arises months or years after the completion of treatment for stage I, II, or III breast cancer.
If breast cancer metastasizes, it most often spreads to the bones, liver, lungs, or brain, but it is still considered to be breast cancer and is treated with breast cancer therapies.
Treatment of metastatic breast cancer is very personalized, depending on the characteristics of the cancer itself and the side effects that the person is willing to accept or tolerate. Some treatments have side effects that impact quality of life, and the potential benefits of these treatments may be greater for some people than others. A person diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer should consult with an oncologist to determine the most suitable balance of treatment and quality of life. The treatment plan is guided by many factors, including cancer cell characteristics, where the cancer has spread, symptoms, and past breast cancer treatments.
Many new treatments for metastatic breast cancer are under study. Most of these are drug therapies. Some focus on treating the whole body, while others focus on the breast, chest wall and nearby lymph nodes. Findings from clinical trials of these treatments will determine whether they become a part of standard care for metastatic breast cancer.
Susan G. Komen® is committed to ending breast cancer forever by energizing science to find the cures and ensuring quality care for all through global research grants and scientific programs. Many world’s leaders in breast cancer research have been supported by Komen’s research and scientific programs – including three Nobel Laureates. Komen’s funding has supported research that has resulted in a better understanding of breast cancer; earlier detection; personalized, less invasive treatments for what was once a “one-treatment-fits-all” disease; and improved survival rates.