Anonymous $4M donation to breast cancer services in East Bay

OAKLAND (KRON) — Some hospitals in the East Bay will be expanding services to help those suffering from breast cancer, thanks to a $4 million dollar donation from an anonymous donor.

The generous mystery donation was gifted to the Carol Ann Read Breast Health Center at Sutter Health’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland, Sutter Health Officials announced on Tuesday.

The donation will be dedicated to expand access to services such as early breast cancer detection, treatment and patient support across all three of Sutter Health’s affiliated hospitals in the region; including, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Oakland and Berkeley, Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch and Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley.

Additionally, Sutter Health intents to use the donation to place a high priority on breast cancer screening and treatment for African American women, who are estimated to be 40 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than Caucasian women, according to recent statistics, hospital officials said.

“Women have a one in eight chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and Sutter Health is committed to increasing the detection and prevention of the disease and the survival rates for all women in the East Bay,” Hospitals, Sutter Health Bay Area CEO Julie Petrini said in a statement.

Inspired by the donation, Sutter Health regional philanthropic foundation Better Health East Bay has joined Susan G Komen and Black Women’s Health Imperative to launch the East Bay Breast Cancer Fund, a community managed fund by Community Health Charities, in order to raise additional money to further improve and expand breast cancer services, according to Sutter Health officials.

“We know breast cancer is a leading cause of death in Black, Asian and Hispanic women, and we are proud to be a part of the East Bay Breast Cancer Fund, to ensure all women get screened starting at age 40 and receive high-quality treatment, which will save lives, “Black Women’s Health Imperative President CEO Linda Goler-Blount said in a statement.

Research indicates that use of 3D mammography combined with standard mammography many improve breast cancer detection rates and reduce unnecessary follow-up services for some patients. Patient navigator programs have proven highly effective in ensuring women get mammograms regularly and preventing treatment delays or interruptions, according to Sutter Health officials.

“We hope that our efforts will serve as a model for how all hospitals can come together to fight this disease and win, “Petrini said.

In this Monday, Oct. 10, 2011 photo, the box for a Sephora Collection Pink Eyelash Curler is displayed in Philadelphia. Advocates are asking whether breast cancer awareness has lost its focus, and become more about marketing than women’s health. Pinkwashing, a word coined by activists, is a practice being described as when a company or organization does a pink breast cancer promotion, but at the same time sells and profits from pink-theme products. But pink ribbon groups say such sales help to fund millions of dollars of research to find cures for the disease. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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