Susan G. Komen started with a promise to end breast cancer. One of the ways to fulfill this promise is to invest in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer.
Every year, Komen awards research grants to support a wide-range of investigative topics, from breast cancer prevention to new screening tools to targeted treatment. The national office of Komen, based in Dallas, administers the research grants.
While Komen Colorado does not award research grants, it does support this part of the mission by contributing 25% of net funds raised every year to the research awards. When combined with 25% contributions from all other affiliates across the country, and other national fundraising efforts, Komen awards an average of $26 million every year to support breast cancer research.
In its 35-year history, Komen has awarded a total of $920 million to researchers in 49 states and 20 countries. Komen Colorado has contributed $15.6 million in its 25-year history to support breast cancer research.
Here are some accomplishments that Komen-funded research grants have had over the years:
- Discovered a molecule that may prevent cancer cells from metastasizing (see more in the Metastatic Breast Cancer section)
- Development of new imaging procedures for more accurate detection and diagnosis, including more accurate results for women with dense breast tissue through ultrasound tomography
- Discovered that dense breast tissue may lead to tumor formation
- Understand how obesity at all stages of life affects risk of developing breast cancer
Advocates in Science
Advocates in Science is a community of dedicated volunteer advocates who work to reduce the burden of breast cancer in the communities. Research advocates bring the patient 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.
Research advocates play a variety of roles throughout the research process. Advocates educate others about research, participate in research grant peer reviews, and work with or as part of scientific teams to help prioritize, develop, and implement research projects.