Planned Parenthood has announced a $3 million nationwide expansion of its services to better identify women at high risk of breast cancer and increase early detection and treatment of the disease.
The initiative, which aims to increase women's access to breast cancer screenings, diagnostic services, and educational resources, will be funded by donations that poured into the organization last January after Susan G. Komen for the Cure suspended future funding of Planned Parenthood affiliates — a decision Komen quickly reversed after a huge public backlash. The expanded program will include grants to local health centers to cover part of the cost of follow-up diagnostic care such as biopsies and ultrasounds; a new breast cancer risk-assessment tool for doctors and nurses; digital breast health educational resources designed for and targeted to women between the ages of 18 and 39; and an expanded educational and outreach program that will use community health workers to target Latinas.
As a partner in the initiative, the Austin-based Lance Armstrong Foundation — which has operated as Livestrong since 2009 — will connect women diagnosed with breast cancer to its free bilingual Livestrong Cancer Navigation services to help them navigate the treatment, financial, and logistical decisions they face.
"We were overwhelmed with support from people all across the country who wanted to be sure that women could still get breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood. We've spent the last few months developing an expanded program that plays to our strengths while addressing the biggest barriers to getting care," said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses will be able to help more women than ever detect breast cancer early and take charge of their health. We're proud to be working with Komen again on our shared mission of protecting women's health and beating breast cancer."