10 Grassroots Organizations to Receive Grants For Breast Cancer Support Services

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 4, 2008) – State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. today announced a new initiative to increase the availability of breast cancer support services.

The Department is awarding $390,000 in state funds to support 10 Community-Based Breast Cancer Education, Counseling, Outreach and Support Services programs. These community-based, grassroots, free-standing organizations offer free counseling, education, outreach and support services to people with breast cancer. Each awardee will receive $39,000 for the first year of the grant.

"The medical community recognizes that addressing the emotional burden of cancer is an important component of a comprehensive treatment plan, but one that is often neglected," Commissioner Daines said. "Cancer support programs for cancer-related issues, respite care, peer support and raising awareness of cancer and its burdens are essential to meet the needs of these New Yorkers."

The new Community-Based Breast Cancer Education, Counseling, Outreach and Support Services initiatives are awarded to:

  • Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester
  • Breast Cancer Network of Western New York (East Amherst)
  • Capital Region Action Against Breast Cancer! (Albany)
  • Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes (Ithaca)
  • Cancer Support Team Inc. (Mamaroneck)
  • LEWAC Associates of Western NY, Inc. (Buffalo)
  • SHARE: Self Help for Women with Breast or Ovarian Cancer (New York City)
  • Support Connection, Inc. (Yorktown Heights)
  • The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center (New York City)
  • To Life! (Delmar)

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women in New York state. Nearly 14,000 New York State women are newly diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and approximately 3,000 die from the disease annually.

Early detection of breast cancer through mammography and clinical breast examination has led to a significant increase in the numbers of individuals who survive breast cancer, both in the state and nation. The sooner breast cancer is detected, the better the chances of survival. Improved treatment options have also led to increased survival among those diagnosed with breast cancer.

The new Community-Based Breast Cancer Education, Counseling, Outreach and Support Services awardees build on existing support initiatives and increase the availability of cancer survivorship support services for individuals and their families who have been affected by a diagnosis of cancer.

Support groups, education, counseling and related activities can help reduce stress experienced by breast cancer patients, improve their ability to cope and deal with the uncertainties, challenges and life complications that accompany the disease and also enable them to make more effective use of health services. Breast cancer survivors may have a myriad of clinical and psychosocial needs, and support services have been shown to improve their quality of life.

The State Health Department currently funds 29 community-based cancer support services initiatives providing services to adults. An additional seven programs provide services to children as well as six contractors that provide legal and supportive services to people with cancer across the state.

For additional information on breast cancer support services contact the Department of Health at our Cancer Services toll- free number 1-866-442-2262.