Fact sheet: Breast cancer and underserved San Francisco women

By Wallace Ravven

About breast cancer and underserved San Francisco women:

* Women in the Bay Area at large are twice as likely as those diagnosed at SFGHMC to have their cancer caught early.

* Fewer than 15 percent of new breast cancer cases at SFGHMC are diagnosed as a result of breast screening.

* Breast cancer—the most common cancer among Bay Area and US women—killed 833 women in the Bay Area in 2000 and was diagnosed in 4500 more.

The new Avon Comprehensive Breast Care Center at SF General Hospital Medical Center will:

* Double the mammography capacity of SFGHMC to permit almost 10,000 women to be screened annually.

* Significantly reduce appointment waiting times for appointments.

* Offer genetic testing and counseling for women at high risk of breast cancer.

* Provide culturally appropriate patient education available in English, Spanish and Cantonese.

The Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade:

* Has raised $300 million worldwide to fund access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer in 50 countries.

* Will provide millions of dollars in support specifically to public and safety net hospitals—those serving the highest percentage of uninsured patients - through funds raised at each 2004 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer event May-October and through sales of Avon Pink Ribbon Products.

* Supports research and clinical care programs at 36 US locations, including four in Northern California.

* Has funded some 800 community-based breast health programs since 1993.