Susan G. Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, is warning that decades of progress in lowering breast cancer mortality rates may be in jeopardy due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and called for a united response to help save lives during this year’s National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Komen noted that in response to the growing need for financial support and overcoming barriers to care, the organization has increased its focus on providing care and support directly through its Patient Care Services Center, the demand for which has more than doubled over the past year.

“Facing a breast cancer diagnosis is difficult in the best of times, but more so during the uncertainty of a pandemic,” said Paula Schneider, a breast cancer survivor and Komen’s CEO. “More people than ever are encountering challenges in accessing and continuing needed care. Many have lost their jobs, health insurance and are facing new financial challenges. The pandemic has also highlighted persistent and tragic racial disparities, like the startling reality that Black women in the U.S. are about 40% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women. Our support is needed now, more than ever. Yet meeting those needs will only be possible thanks to the generosity and passion of our donors and fundraisers.”

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