ATLANTA, Ga. - In June, Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta announced their continued investment in Komen Atlanta Treatment Assistance Program (ATAP), which launched last year and has provided financial assistance to local cancer patients unable to afford the costs associated with breast cancer treatment.
Newton County residents have utilized the program’s resources since its launch date. According to data provided by Komen Atlanta:
63 percent of Newton County residents who utilized ATAP needed transportation
18 percent received lymphedema care
9 percent received home care
9 percent received oral pain medication
ATAP will cover “limited costs associated with breast cancer treatment such as oral pain medication, anti-nausea medication, oral chemotherapy/hormone therapy, child care/elder care, home care, transportation, lymphedema care and supplies and durable medical treatment,” according to a Komen Atlanta press release.
“We assist those with a breast cancer diagnosis at every step: from screening to providing services during treatment to support beyond,” said Cati Diamond Stone, CEO of Komen Atlanta.
ATAP launched as a part of the organization’s Bold Goal to reduce breast cancer deaths by 50 percent by 2026. The program’s goal is to continuously provide care to women, regardless of income level.
“The treatment assistance program is vitally important because it keeps women in continuous care; therefore, preventing a decline in the breast cancer survival rate,” said Stone.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women, according to the Georgia Breast Cancer Coalition (GABCC), a nonprofit breast cancer education and advocacy group.
GABCC stated that “about 77 percent of breast cancers occur in women aged 50 or older. Less than five percent of all cases occur in women under 40; however, younger women who develop breast cancer have a lower survival rate.”
About 1,170 Georgia females die from breast cancer every year, according to the 2016 Georgia Department of Public Health cancer report.
“In general, the earlier the stage, the better the chance of survival,” the GDPH cancer report stated. “For breast cancer, the overall five-year survival rate among Georgia women is 89 percent.”
Komen Atlanta’s ATAP program assists breast cancer patients in multiple counties around the Atlanta area: Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton and Rockdale.
To be eligible for assistance, patients must have an income at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty line, which is about $31,225 per individual, and have an active breast cancer diagnosis.
For more information, call the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Helpline at 1-877-GOKOMEN (465-6636), Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., or email via firstname.lastname@example.org.