July 31, 2009

Komen grants enhance breast health initiatives

Komen grants enhance breast health initiatives

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater Nashville has awarded three grants totaling $175,000 to support Vanderbilt breast health initiatives.

The Coalition for Healthy Aging Breast Health Initiative (BHI), a program of the Vanderbilt Center for Health Services, received two of the grants.

The first BHI grant targets women 55 and older and minority women for breast health education by connecting underserved women to screening options and providing free clinical breast exams. The services will be provided on evenings and weekends to enhance education and treatment options for working seniors and minority women.

The second BHI grant will benefit young women by using online approaches to breast cancer education. About 300 high school and college age women will receive online education and training about breast health, self-exams and early detection strategies. An online blog for young women will provide access to educational information and encourage online discussions.

The Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation and the Rehabilitation Oncology Program received $75,000 to partner with Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and Belmont University to deliver culturally appropriate information and patient education materials to breast cancer survivors and their families through their primary care providers.

The information will address physical and functional issues such as pain, fatigue, weight gain, osteoporosis, musculoskeletal and skin/sensation impairments and lymphedema.

A conference to be held Sept. 12 at VUSN will provide education to primary care providers about these late effects of cancer treatment.

“Targeting primary care providers will help survivors better identify these late effects, which can be chronic problems long after treatment is over,” said Ann Marie Flores, Ph.D., project director. “Many providers and survivors don’t have enough information to identify and manage these issues.”

Most of the money raised for Komen for the Cure comes from the Race for the Cure event scheduled for Oct. 10 in Maryland Farms in Brentwood.