September 21, 2010 00:29 ET

Lance Armstrong and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom Celebrate Progress in Hispanic/Latino Cancer Care

Visit Highlights Local Need for Programs and Resources Targeting Hispanic/Latinos

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - September 21, 2010) -  Joined by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Lance Armstrong today made a surprise visit to the San Francisco General Hospital's Avon Comprehensive Breast Care Center. Together they toured the infusion center, where patients were receiving treatment, and a portion of the oncology center. They also met with hospital doctors to discuss the Hispanic/Latino cancer burden and the need for programs and resources that are tailored to address their needs.

"Here in San Francisco, we make sure residents have access to quality healthcare," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. "We have been partnering with LIVESTRONG to not only treat cancer, but ensure that patients receive quality care for overall health and wellness."

"There is a great need for resources that improve the quality of life for Hispanic and Latino cancer survivors and San Francisco's community groups and medical professionals are working to fill that need," said Armstrong. "LIVESTRONG is proud to be a part of the effort to provide Hispanic families affected by cancer with customized tools and support they need to live life on their own terms."

Earlier this year, LIVESTRONG expanded its outreach to the Hispanic and Latino community through promotion of its free Spanish-language resources, including and LIVESTRONG SurvivorCare. LIVESTRONG aims to provide more support to a wider number of Hispanics and Latinos who are affected by cancer and those closest to them through increased visibility or access to the most common places people go for information: the internet, cellular devices and media outlets.

LIVESTRONG also recently launched the Promotores program comprised of community health workers who provide health-related information and support to cancer survivors in their community. To date, LIVESTRONG has trained more than 400 Promotores nationally.

The Latino population, which represents a mosaic of cultures, is the fastest growing population in the United States at an estimated 50 million. By 2050, the population is projected to skyrocket to more than 132 million, accounting for nearly one-third of the United States' total population. Cancer is the second leading cause of death among Hispanics and cancer rates for Latinos are projected to increase by 142% by 2030 compared to 45% for the overall U.S. cancer incidence. Latinos, who as a demographic tend to have lower incomes, less education and less insurance, have lower survival rates for most cancers, which may reflect less access to timely, high-quality treatment.

Armstrong and Mayor Newsom also met with representatives from Círculo de Vida (CDV), a local Spanish-language cancer support group, to learn more about their mission and services. Since 1996, CDV has provided immediate support to newly diagnosed Latinas at the Avon Comprehensive Breast Care Center. The organization also provides translation, educational classes and materials and advocacy services. A similar program has been developed at San Francisco General Hospital's Oncology Clinic for Latino men and is currently the only program of its kind in San Francisco.

CDV also works in partnership with LIVESTRONG, who awarded them a grant to help fund psychosocial support, cancer education, advocacy, home/hospital visits and tools necessary to help Hispanics and Latinos navigate the complex medical system.

For more information, visit

Founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong and based in Austin, Texas, LIVESTRONG fights for the 28 million people around the world living with cancer today. LIVESTRONG connects individuals to the support they need, leverages funding and resources to spur innovation and engages communities and leaders to drive social change. Known for the iconic yellow wristband, LIVESTRONG's mission is to inspire and empower anyone affected by cancer. For more information, visit

About the Avon Comprehensive Breast Care Center
The Avon Comprehensive Breast Care Center is located inside San Francisco General Hospital. Since its inception in 2004, the Avon Comprehensive Breast Care Center has provided over 45,000 breast screenings and more than 3,000 breast health procedures. Diagnostic procedures include digital mammography, ultrasound-guided biopsy, stereotactic biopsy, localization procedures, as well as clinical, health education and case coordination services.

About Circulo de Vida
Founded in 1992, Círculo de Vida was the first successful Spanish-language support group program in the greater Bay Area, and has since been a model for groups in Union City, Pittsburg, and Watsonville. Founded on the principles of familismo (the importance of the family unit) and personalismo (the importance of warm interpersonal relationships) Círculo de Vida provides an invaluable and unparalleled service to Latinos living with cancer and their loved ones -- most of them immigrants, low-income, and without health insurance -- as they navigate a frightening illness and an increasingly complex medical system. Círculo's experienced staff help translate for the patient and physician at the time of diagnosis, offer in-hospital and in-home support during surgery and treatment, provide a wide range of Spanish-language support groups for the patients and their children, as well as case management, resource referrals and in-home support for the terminally ill.

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