October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade

For 25 years, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade has been helping to provide quality breast cancer care to people across the country, regardless of their ability to pay. This means more women have had access to screening and diagnostic services, education, counselling, and nutrition programs. We not only help those who are at risk or diagnosed with breast cancer today, but also fund research into finding better treatments for tomorrow.

For Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2017, the Avon, Breast Cancer Crusade will be focusing on 5 important areas involved in assisting breast cancer patients and spreading awareness:

  1. Accessing care: A breast cancer diagnosis doesn’t discriminate based on your age, geography, social status or race. And the reality is that under-served communities experience poorer outcomes when it comes to a breast cancer diagnosis because of inequities in their ability to access timely and high quality care. English-language proficiency, lower levels of health literacy and education, fear, and cultural stigmas can all prevent women from receiving the care that could help save their lives.
  2. Metastatic Program:  Metastatic Breast Cancer patients face immense challenges that go beyond those they encounter in the doctors’ office – challenges that significantly impact their overall quality of life: Nutritional. Legal. Psychological. Financial. There are currently no known cures for metastatic breast cancer and while the unique needs of these patients are well documented, they too often go unmet. That’s why the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, through the Avon-Pfizer Metastatic Grants Program, is proud to be one of the biggest funders of organizations that look beyond the medical needs of metastatic patients to support them in their journey towards living the best quality of life possible.
  3. Centers for Excellence and Research: What is the ultimate goal in the fight against breast cancer? To end it. But just as important as the countless hours and billions of dollars of research still needed to better understand the disease, is the ability for us to provide quality and timely access to care for all women, no matter their socioeconomic status.  When it comes to treating women with breast cancer – it’s about equity, not equality. The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade supports seven major academic medical centers across the United States—their Centers of Excellence—that are focused on two primary goals: providing the highest quality and access to care and performing cutting-edge research to help advance our understanding of breast cancer to improve a patient’s chance to achieve the best possible outcome.
  4. Supporting the Mind and Body: Breast cancer doesn’t just attack the body—it affects a patient’s entire life, their body, and their mind. When it comes to treatment, most people immediately think about medical therapies, like chemotherapy and radiation, but those treatments, in turn, can lead to an entire other list of side effects that also need relief. What about helping the rest of the body cope with the disease and the treatment? What about helping patients through the emotional and mental rollercoaster that comes with dealing with this diagnosis every single day? The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade funds organizations that focus on what’s known as 360-degree support for patients, which works to minimize not just the physical impacts of the disease – but the mental and emotional ones as well. They focus on the whole person—both the body and the mind.
  5. Nutrition: For breast cancer patients, treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can have devastating effects on the body — from extreme fatigue to weight loss to changes in appetite.  Just when a patient needs healthy food most – they face physical challenges that keep them from getting it – whether it’s shopping for it, cooking it or consuming it. Or all three. And for those with limited financial resources, the choices become even more dire – choosing between feeding themselves or their families. Or choosing between food and medicine…food and rent…food and the electric bill…For a breast cancer patient, it becomes easy to forget that healthy nutrition needs to be a top priority when it comes to living with cancer. While access to healthy foods is a major need for those living with breast cancer, it isn’t always a reality. At the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, we believe we can change that.For more information, please visit the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade website: https://avonbcc.org/

    Visit the YWCA Facebook Page for the weekly video series from the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade based on the five topics listed above. https://www.facebook.com/ywcasema/