Collaboration: National Treatment Assistance Fund

how-we-collaborate-mtp-pinkThe costs of breast cancer treatment can impose a significant financial burden on survivors. The Susan G. Komen® National Treatment Assistance Fund helps bridge the gap for individuals who are actively undergoing breast cancer treatment.

The aim of the National Treatment Assistance Fund is to increase the number of individuals who remain in the breast cancer continuum of care by providing financial assistance to ensure adherence and completion of breast cancer treatment. Funding helps individuals of any age who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, at any stage of the disease.

The fund provides two types of financial assistance – assistance grants and co-pay – based upon need and eligibility requirements. Komen is currently funding two organizations that provide assistance through the National Treatment Assistance Fund.  To learn more about these programs click here or call the Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636).

Limited financial assistance grants are awarded to low-income, underinsured or uninsured individuals across the country including the District of Columbia in need of:

  • Pain and anti-nausea medication
  • Lymphedema support and supplies with a prescription
  • Durable medical equipment ordered by their physician
  • Transportation to and from treatment
  • Childcare and/or eldercare necessitated by treatment
  • Oral medication for cancer treatment
  • Wigs
  • Breast prosthesis

Financial assistance is granted to individuals who meet pre-determined eligibility criteria.

Learn more:

Collaboration: Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance

how-we-collaborate-mtp-pinkMetastatic breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body. In the U.S., most women with metastatic cancer develop it when cancer returns at some point after their initial breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

In October 2013, Susan G. Komen® joined forces with a number of other cancer charities and advocacy groups to form the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance (MBC Alliance). Since that time, the MBC Alliance has grown to include 40 members and has made progress against three overarching goals:

  1. Advocate for progress in research that will extend life, enhance quality of life, and ultimately end death from metastatic breast cancer
  2. Strive to ensure that all metastatic breast cancer patients and their caregivers know how to, and are able to access the care and services they need from a responsive and well-informed healthcare system
  3. Educate those diagnosed, their families, healthcare providers, researchers, and health policy influencers and makers on metastatic breast cancer and how it differs from early-stage breast cancer

Learn more at

Watch the MBC Alliance’s video about the experiences of women living with MBC:

Additional information on Metastatic Breast Cancer:

Collaboration: Komen Scholars

how-we-collaborate-mtp-pinkKomen Scholars are an advisory group of 60 distinguished scholars and leaders in breast cancer research and advocacy. Each has made significant contributions to advancing the field or demonstrated significant promise of doing so in the future and all are committed to furthering Komen’s mission.

Led by the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), which serves as the executive committee, the Komen Scholars are an international group with a wide range of expertise, including clinical research, laboratory research, pathology, prevention, radiation oncology, surgery, and other research disciplines and specialties, allowing them to advise Komen in a variety of capacities. While their primary responsibility is to lead and participate as reviewers in Komen’s scientific peer review process, the Komen Scholars also serve as ambassadors and experts in our communities and across the Affiliate Network.

In addition, several of the Scholars are Advocates in Science who ensure that the unique perspectives of those affected by breast cancer are fully integrated into decisions at every step of Komen’s mission.

Learn more about the scholars:

Collaboration: Global

how-we-collaborate-mtp-pinkTo maximize success, sustainability and local ownership of programs, we work with the community, for the community. We assess and base interventions in evidence and innovation; and we invest in systems change or in programs that can be sustained by the community in the long term.

Komen works in 4 regions: Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia (China), the Middle East and Europe. In these communities, we support programs that incrementally build capacity for the delivery of breast cancer education, timely screening, diagnostic, treatment and supportive care integrated with existing health services.

A prime example of Komen’s global collaborations is the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon Initiative in Africa:

Breast and cervical cancers take a particularly devastating toll on women in developing countries. In fact, they’re the leading causes of cancer deaths among women in sub-Saharan Africa. Komen is partnering with numerous U.S. and African organizations and working to put an end to these cancer deaths.

Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR) was cofounded in September 2011 by Susan G. Komen®, the George W. Bush Institute, the U.S. Presidents’ Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

PRRR aims to cost-effectively integrate cervical and breast cancer services into existing health service delivery platforms, beginning by leveraging the PEPFAR infrastructure for HIV/AIDS. Programs are active in Zambia and Tanzania.

Susan G. Komen’s/PRRR’S overarching global objective is to save the lives of women diagnosed with breast cancer by down-staging the disease at diagnosis and facilitating access to timely treatment. Early stage diagnosis of breast cancer is associated with significantly improved treatment outcomes.

In Zambia, Komen supports a collaborative training and technical support program between the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Trainings on health promotion, clinical breast examination and ultrasound, to name a few, are adapted to the local setting and delivered by capable and qualified health professionals in-country. Additionally, through our efforts, Komen has supported the establishment of two breast cancer clinics at the African Center of Excellence in Lusaka and the Kabwe General Hospital in Kabwe, Central Province.

In Tanzania, Komen works closely with the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly & Children to implement strategies to improve breast cancer education, screening and treatment for the community. Komen has developed educational materials in Swahili and is working with the Ministry on early detection guidelines.

Learn more:

Collaboration: Komen Helpline

how-we-collaborate-mtp-pink1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636)

The Susan G. Komen® breast care helpline offers breast cancer education, psychosocial support and information about resources callers need to cope with breast cancer issues.  The helpline also serves as an expert resource and support system, helping patients and families to problem solve by providing information and emotional support, as well as access to Komen’s excellent resources.  The helpline service hours are 9 am – 10 pm ET, Monday – Friday.

A helpline specialist may also assist in the following ways:

  • Help callers think about and develop a list of their needs in order of priority,
  • Reassure callers that their feelings and concerns are typical—that they are not alone in the way they feel
  • Educate about breast cancer issues and coping mechanisms,
  • Evaluate the need for emotional support,
  • Teach/coach the client how to better communicate with their health care team; and
  • Help callers write a list of questions and find ways to remember the answers.

All calls and emails are answered by a trained and caring staff member in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET. TTD is also available.

Komen does not provide medical advice or referrals to physicians, medical facilities or other services.

Breast Cancer Research: Susan G. Komen® Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center

bc-research-mtp-pinkSince 2007, Susan G. Komen® has invested nearly $8 million to support the Susan G. Komen® Tissue Bank at the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center – the only healthy breast tissue repository in the world! By studying normal tissue, the tissue bank accelerates research on the causes and prevention of breast cancer.

To more deeply understand the evolution of the disease, it is necessary to compare abnormal, cancerous tissue against normal, healthy tissue. By providing researchers with high quality normal breast tissue and matched serum, plasma and DNA, the Komen Tissue Bank accelerates research for the causes and prevention of breast cancer.

Learn more about the Komen Tissue Bank:

Breast Cancer Research: Research Advocacy

bc-research-mtp-pinkAt Susan G. Komen®, we have a unique community of dedicated volunteer research advocates, who, through our Advocates in Science (AIS) program, work to reduce the burden of breast cancer in their communities.

Research advocates bring the patient’s voice to research, ensuring that the unique and valuable perspectives of breast cancer patients, survivors and co-survivors are integrated into the scientific dialogue and decisions, which impact progress toward ending breast cancer.

Research advocates play a variety of roles throughout the research process. Advocates do everything from educating others about research to participating in research grant peer reviews and working with or as part of scientific teams to help prioritize, develop and implement research projects.

Learn more: