The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade seeks to improve breast cancer outcomes and reduce disparities in survival rates at the community and national level. Our strategic grant making reflects: a holistic and place-based approach in high-need areas throughout the United States; a commitment to enabling access to medical advances and support services for breast cancer patients, particularly those from vulnerable populations; and a commitment to investing in research on the prevention, diagnostics, and treatment of breast cancer.

The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade focuses on care and seeks to help across the continuum of breast cancer – not only helping those who are at risk or diagnosed with the disease today, but also research into finding better treatments for tomorrow.

Access to Care Programs

In 2015, Avon funded access to care programs and provided patients with nearly 840,000 educational contacts, enabled access to 260,000 mammograms and provided more than 115,000 patient navigation services to medically underserved women and men diagnosed with breast cancer. Findings demonstrate that Patient Navigation works best in low resource hospital systems, where social barriers exist and there are healthcare barriers. Navigators help patients to overcome these challenges including the lack of transportation, insurance and/or finances. Patient Navigation programs are funded by the following initiatives:

From 1992 to date, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade has awarded more than 1,750 grants, totaling more than $76.3 million, through the Avon Breast Health Outreach Program to community-based organizations across the U.S. to provide culturally competent education and outreach, and link underserved audiences to early detection programs and risk reduction strategies.

The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade supports patient navigator programs at Safety Net Hospitals, to help patients understand and overcome the complex medical maze faced after receiving an abnormal screening or breast cancer diagnosis, and the challenges in securing access to high-quality and timely treatment. Cumulatively, since inception the Avon Safety Net Program has awarded more than 760 grants through the end of 2015, totaling more than $232 million, to a network of more than 200 hospitals across the country. The goal of the program is to help women and men who might fall through the cracks of the healthcare system gain access to quality breast cancer services and the most current medical advances.

Funding supports seven Avon Comprehensive Breast Care Centers of Excellence, all located at major academic medical centers. Avon grants enable these Centers to develop new programs to reach and treat underserved populations in their communities and provide them direct access to the cutting edge advancements in treatment and care that are being developed at these same institutions.

Support Programs

Launched in 2000, the AVONCares Program at CancerCare has reached medically underserved breast cancer patients living in 96% of all U.S. counties, providing more than 82,000 women and men with financial assistance to help access care. All clients assisted are introduced to CancerCare’s other free services, including counseling, education and referrals to key resources.

Since 2001, Avon has made more than 65 grants totaling nearly $11.3 million to nutrition programs across the country that have provided nutrition counseling, education, grocery services and millions of home-delivered meals to women fighting breast cancer and their dependents. Hunger and malnutrition contribute to medical complications, repeat hospitalizations, and higher mortality rates for the critically ill and these important nutrition services play a significant role in recovery and prevention.

Metastatic Breast Cancer Focus

Avon and Pfizer partnered on the Metastatic Breast Cancer Grants Program: Identify – Amplify – Unify, which provided a total of $1 million in grants to support 23 non-profit organizations developing programmatic solutions to challenges experienced by metastatic breast cancer patients and their caregivers. And another $1 million, for a total of $2 million, is planned for 2016. This partnership put into action recommendations from recent expert panels and studies on quality of life issues of patients, identifying the needs of metastatic breast cancer patients, amplifying awareness and resources, and unifying the metastatic breast cancer community. Read an executive summary of best practices and lessons learned from the program.

Through October 2015, Avon led and coordinated the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance (MBCA), which launched in 2013. MBCA brings 40 breast cancer advocate organizations and industry partners together with the vision of transforming and improving the lives of women and men living with metastatic breast cancer. Avon dedicated staff time and resources to lead the MBCA’s effort to conduct a comprehensive analysis of metastatic breast cancer research and patient information and resources.

Research Initiatives

The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade supports breast cancer research through grant funding, as well as by providing scientific coordination and fostering collaboration between its funded programs. Since inception, the Avon research initiative has invested over $250 million in projects to drive advancements in biomarkers, diagnostics, prognostics, genetics, disparities, the role of environmental factors in the development of breast cancer, the connection between parity status and breast cancer risk, better or new treatments, the role of viruses and immunology, and metastasis and metastatic disease.

Current research priorities include:

Understanding the causes of breast cancer and finding ways to prevent it.

Developing new treatments for under-investigated areas of research, such as metastatic breast cancer and rare, aggressive types of the disease (including inflammatory breast cancer and triple negative breast cancer).

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