NEW YORKAn organization that has pushed for early diagnosis and better treatment of breast cancer in the United States is expanding its outreach to other countries. Affiliates of the Dallas-based Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation are opening this year in Italy, Greece, and Argentina, and one probably will open in Germany next year,said Susan Braun, president and CEO.
The foundation also has interested parties in Spain and Israel, Ms. Braun said in an interview. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in a number of South American and European nations, she added, and the most fatal cancer in women. We want to test different models to see what will work. We dont want to just jump into a place where maybe what we have to offer would not be valuable.
Nonetheless, she is confident that some approaches used by the foundation may be helpful in raising awareness of breast cancer and the importance of early treatment. In the States, it hasnt been long since women did not talk about breast cancer in public, and that still persists in many parts of the world, she said.
Public awareness of the disease in this country has led to earlier diagnosis and treatment. We would like to put in place whatever initiatives are needed in different parts of the world to help them achieve that downstaging, she said.
The foundation, which raised $78 million in the United States in 1998, also hopes to teach fundraising techniques abroad, adapting to cultural differences. Were not looking to raise funds ourselves in any of the other countries, Ms. Braun said. We are only putting money in, not taking any money back out.