History

Susan G. Komen®

Our mission is to save lives and end breast cancer forever.

Our vision is a world without breast cancer.

Our Promise is to empower individuals, ensure quality care for all, and energize science to find the cures.

Fulfilling the Promise

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen® and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen has invested more than $2.5 billion to fulfill our promise, working to end breast cancer in the U.S. and throughout the world through ground-breaking research, community health outreach, advocacy and programs in more than 30 countries.

Across the country, that promise is upheld by a network of 120 local Affiliate offices. At the heart of each Affiliate is a person or group of people who want to make a difference.

Progress in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

Since 1982, Susan G. Komen has played a critical role in every major advance in the fight against breast cancer – transforming how the world talks about and treats this disease and helping to turn millions of breast cancer patients into breast cancer survivors. We are proud of our contribution to some real victories:

  • More early detection and effective treatment– Currently, about 70 percent of women 40 and older receive regular mammograms, the single most effective screening tool to find breast cancer early.  Since 1990, early detection and effective treatment have resulted in a 34 percent decline in breast cancer mortality in the U.S.
  • More hope –In 1980, the 5-year relative survival rate for women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer (cancer confined to the breast) was about 74 percent. Today, that number is 99 percent.
  • More research – The federal government now devotes more than $850 million each year to breast cancer research, treatment and prevention (compared to $30 million in 1982).
  • More survivors – Currently, there are about 3 million breast cancers survivors, the largest group of cancer survivors in the U.S.