Women suffer breast cancer in silence.

Limited resources, information and support available.

Few women are routinely screened.

Little to no awareness of mammography.

Total mastectomy is standard surgical procedure.

Breast-conserving surgery (lumpectomies) adopted in late 1970s.

Chemotherapy and radiation are only non-surgical treatments.

Tamoxifen is approved to treat patients with advanced breast cancer.

  • Susan G. Komen is founded, launching the breast cancer movement
  • Komen launches its Race for the Cure® series
  • 30% of women 40+ undergo mammograms
  • Komen Affiliates are founded to support local women and raise funds
  • Identification of a genetic link to some breast and ovarian cancers
  • Less-invasive surgical techniques are introduced
  • Treatments improve: trastuzumab (Herceptin), taxanes
  • Tamoxifen approved to reduce risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Breast cancer patients advocate for more federal funding of breast cancer research
  • Advocates help establish the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program for low-income and uninsured women
  • Researchers discover breast cancer subtypes based on discrete sets of genetic changes
  • Genetic tests are developed to help determine which patients need more aggressive treatment
  • New treatments for HER2+ breast cancer: pertuzumab, transtuzumab emtansine (T-DM1)
  • Congress passes the EARLY Act, requiring breast cancer education for women under 40
  • Affordable Care Act requires coverage for screening mammography
  • Advocacy for equal access to oral anti-cancer drugs result in oral parity laws being passed in 42 States
  • Research finds 70 percent of women with early stage HER2 negative breast cancers can forgo chemotherapy and its toxic side effects.

Getting to Half:


Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade

Quality Care
for All

Lorraine Hutchinson

Getting to Half

Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade


We will find new treatments for the most aggressive forms of breast cancer that are killing more than 41,000 people in the U.S. each year. Our focus is on:

  • Understanding and finding more effective treatments for metastatic disease (cancer that has spread to other parts of the body – also known as stage IV).
  • Developing better therapies for aggressive forms of breast cancer that become resistant to treatment over time, such as Luminal B (HR+/HER2+), triple negative and inflammatory breast cancers.
  • Leveraging the use of transformative, next-generation technology to detect breast cancer at the very earliest stage, before it has spread or returned, and when treatment is most effective.

Our commitment to the most promising, innovative and meaningful research will never waver. We will not stop until every woman and man with breast cancer can be told: “There is hope – and help – for you.”

Lorraine Hutchinson


Komen will do everything we can to ensure that all people – especially the most vulnerable among us – have access to and utilize high-quality breast cancer care.

  • Komen has always believed that where you live should not determine whether you live, and for decades, Komen and its network of Affiliates has worked to level the playing field for medically underserved populations.
  • Thanks in part to the Fund II Foundation, Komen has launched the African-American Health Equity Initiative to end disparities in breast cancer outcomes in the African-American community. The Initiative’s initial focus will be in the 10 American cities where the disparities are greatest, where Komen has been working side-by-side with civic, health, government and faith leaders to identify and implement the interventions most relevant to each community with the goal to reduce the gap between African-American and white women in these cities by 25 percent within five years of beginning our work in each city.
  • Over time, we will take what we learn through the African-American Health Equity Initiative to more cities and towns across the U.S.

Our commitment to women and men everywhere will never change. We will always fight for health equity for every woman, man and family we serve.



1 in 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.


Save lives by meeting the most critical needs in our communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer.


Every step, every dollar, and every voice matters. Join us in the fight against breast cancer.