October 2, 2009

 Denise Lamott, 415.381.8793,

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The American Cancer Society believes thaT early detection is the most effective way to ensure successful treatment outcomes for breast cancer. Glide is pleased to announce that nearly 300 women from uninsured and at-risk populations have received early detection breast cancer screenings thanks to a partnership between California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) and Glide Health Services (GHS). Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in women; is the number one cause of cancer death in Hispanic women; and is the second most common cause of cancer death in black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women.

Reverend Carolyn Dyson,program manager of African American Breast Health and the Sister to Sister Breast Health Programs at CPMC, started the program's implementation in 2004 as a way to recruit for early detection screening of uninsured and underinsured at-risk African American women in San Francisco. The program grew from the San Francisco Hospital Council’s commitment to reduce the alarming health disparities for African Americans who reside in San Francisco.In 2007, the Sister to Sister project was added, targeting Latina, Asian/Pacific islander, lesbian, transgender, and homeless women. Reverend Dyson’s “take it to the street” attitude has resulted in recruitment in public housing projects, churches, beauty shops, laundromats and private homes. CPMC’s theme for the program is "Trust us, We Care."

Of the 200,000 US women diagnosed with breast cancer each year, nearly 10% of these new cases will be in African American women. Unfortunately, many African American women are diagnosed at a later stage when tumors are larger and have spread to other parts of the body. Therefore, this program’s focus is early detection, education and awareness for women who are uninsured or under-insured and have higher risk factors.

Glide became the first community partner to refer clients for free screenings in 2004. After receiving a free clinical breast exam at GHS, women are sent to CPMC for a mammogram. From there, CPMC’s program takes care of everything from taxi vouchers to other basic necessities that could keep women from their appointments.

The AABH and the Sister to Sister programs have already found 10 women positive for breast cancer and have provided all necessary treatments at no cost. Both programs offer first time or annual screenings, breast health examination instructions, treatment and transportation to and from all breast health related appointments – all of free charge. Program recruitment is enhanced by community partners such as Glide Health Services, the Lyon – Martin Health Clinic, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Calvary Hill Community Church and many others.

To continue the life saving momentum, Glide is adding to its health outreach a monthly women's breast health education group called "Sister Circle," which will provide, counseling, hope and peer support for women coping with cancer.

To learn more about the program, please 415.674.6000 or visit


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