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The Komen Mission:
To eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening, and treatment.

Three Steps to Good Breast Health

1. Breast Self Exam
Practice monthly breast self examination (BSE) beginning by age 20. This should be done just as your period ends, or at the same time each month if you don't have periods. To learn more about how to conduct a proper BSE, please visit http://www.komen.org/bse/ for an excellent multimedia presentation on BSE.

2. Clinical Breast Exam
Have a regular check up, including a clinical breast exam at least every three years beginning by age 20, and annually after age 40.

3. Mammography Exam
Have a mammogram every year beginning by age 40. Women under 40 should consult their doctor about when to begin mammography.

Public Policy


Breast Health Education

The Komen Foundation is a trusted source of breast health and breast cancer information for people all over the world. Resources include: www.breastcancerinfo.com. The Foundation's award-winning web site provides up-to-the-minute information about research findings, clinical trials, local outreach programs, volunteer opportunities, Komen programs and events, and more.

1.800. I'M AWARE®, a National Toll-Free Breast Care Helpline staffed by trained, caring volunteers whose lives have been personally touched by breast cancer.

Speakers Bureau
The Orange County Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation has an excellent set of trained volunteers who visit different groups and organizations is the community to give free presentations on breast health, breast cancer facts, Race for the Cure®, Breast Self examination and more. Presentations are always tailored to each specific group's needs and wants. For more information, on how to share a potentially life saving message with your group, please email komen@ockomen.com or call 714.957.9157 ext 64.

Resource Centers
The Orange County Affiliate also funds resource centers throughout the county in order to distribute free information on breast cancer and breast health. For a list of locations, please click here.

Wig Bank
Located in our Komen office is a wig bank for women who cannot afford a wig during her medical treatments. Breast Cancer patients are invited to our wig bank for a free wig, hat and scarf. The wig bank operates on an appointment basis only. Please call 714.957.9157 to set up an appointment. Spanish and Chinese speaking volunteers are available for assistance.

Breast Cancer Facts

  • In Orange County, one out of eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime.
  • Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death of women between the ages of 40 to 59.

  • All women are at risk of breast cancer: The two most significant risk factors are being female and getting older. Only 5% of women with breast cancer have a hereditary form of the disease.

  • An average woman's chance of getting breast cancer is about one in 200 by the age of 40, one in 50 by age 50 and one in 25 by age 60.

  • Approximately 77% of women with breast cancer are over age 50. Half of all breast cancers in the United States occur in women 65 years and older.

  • In Orange County, an estimated 1,920 new cases will be diagnosed this year and 350 men and women will die of the disease. (American Cancer Society)

  • In California, there will be an estimated 22,490 new cases of breast cancer this year. Women will account for 22,415 of these diagnoses, and men, 135 cases. An estimated 4,195 women and 35 men will die of breast cancer this year. (American Cancer Society)

  • Early detection and follow up care are the keys to survival. Diagnosed at an early stage, the five-year survival rate for women is 97%. Diagnosed at a regional stage, the rate is 78%, and for a distant stage, a sobering 23%.

  • In 1995, 69% of the breast cancer diagnosed in non-Hispanic white women was found at the early stage. For African American women, this figure was 53%, for Hispanic women, 54% and for Asian and Pacific Islander women, 62%.

  • The good news is, with continued advances in screening and treatment, breast cancer mortality significantly declined over the last decade.

Ground-Breaking Research

Twenty-five percent of funds raised by Komen Race for the Cure ® nation-wide support the Komen Foundation's Program, regarded as the most innovative and responsive grant program in breast cancer today. The Komen Foundation is often the only source of funding for cutting-edge breast cancer research, much of which has led to landmark discoveries in the quest to find a cure and prevent breast cancer.

Since its inception, the Komen Foundation has awarded nearly 500 international grants totalling more than $55 million. Grants include:

  • Doctoral dissertation grants and postdoctoral fellowships to recruit and retains young scientists in the field of breast cancer research.
  • Basic, clinical and translational breast cancer research.
  • Imaging technology research to improve breast cancer screening and diagnosis.
  • Research to address the unique needs of breast cancer survivors.
  • Epidemiological research to address the disparities that exist in breast cancer incidence and mortality rates among specific populations.

National Updates/Resources

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
Visit our national website for more news and information about the Komen Foundation. View excellent resources there such as the multimedia library and breast self exam presentation. www.komen.org

National Cancer Institute
The National Cancer Institute coordinates the National Cancer Program, which conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients. For more information, please visit http://www.cancer.gov/

MEDLINEplus Health Information
To view the latest web articles on recent findings and studies, visit http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/breastcancer.html which is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Website for FDA Mammography Program
The FDA has established a new website, www.fda.gov/cdrh/mammography, for its mammography certification program. The site can answer your Mammography Quality Standards Reauthorization Act (MQSRA) questions while covering broad topics related to mammography. Additionally, the site allows users to search for certified mammography facilities in their area.

Living with Breast Cancer: A Guide for Facilitating Self-Help Groups
Women diagnosed with breast cancer and their families are turning to self-help groups to find the comfort, support and information they need to learn to live with breast cancer. Living with Breast Cancer offers encouragement and ideas to women involved with breast cancer self-help groups. Together with Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization and PISCES - Partners in Self-help Community Education and Support, the Komen Foundation is proud to have played a role in the development of this unique manual. To receive a copy of Living with Breast Cancer please call Brandy Jones at 972.855.4312 or Y-ME at 1.800.221.2141.


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