It is a BIG year in Atlanta for breast cancer awareness and action! 2016 marks the 25th year of the Greater Atlanta affiliate of Susan G. Komen, and to celebrate this achievement, Komen Atlanta recently hosted a special celebration with top local business leaders, supporters and guest of honor, Nancy G. Brinker, Founder of the global Susan G. Komen organization, at Northern Trust Bank in Buckhead.

The organization has been working tirelessly to enable everyone in Metro Atlanta to detect and survive breast cancer by being the top resource for funding local screening, diagnostic and support services. Dedicated to ending breast cancer forever, Komen Atlanta has raised more than $44 million in the last 25 years, with $35 million staying in metro Atlanta to support our community and almost $9 million going to fund cutting edge breast cancer research. The local organization was also recently recognized on the national level as the Komen Affiliate of the Year.

On top of such notable achievements, the organization also announced two new, bold goals to continue the fight to completely eradicate breast cancer: (1) to decrease national breast cancer rates by 50% in the next 10 years, and (2) to decrease breast cancer mortality rates among the African American population in metro Atlanta by 25% in the next 5 years.

The first goal will be achieved by continuing to fund research, particularly for aggressive, metastatic breast cancers; lowering ethnic and racial breast cancer disparities; and continuing to focus on the importance of early detection – which can prevent 30% of current deaths without a single new technology or advancement.

Because Atlanta ranks 6th in the nation for the highest breast cancer disparity rates between African American and Caucasian communities, the second goal listed above holds a special level of precedence moving forward on the local level. In order to reach this goal, Komen Atlanta is working to reduce barriers to quality care through increased funding of free screenings, transportation and general access services. Additionally, the organization will continue to focus on culturally relevant education initiatives, and will invest more research dollars into aggressive and incurable breast cancers – like those that often affect African American women.

For more information any of the new goals, or ways in which you can get involved during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and beyond, check out the website: because Atlanta is more than pink!