STAMFORD, CT – AmeriCares and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals have made a three-year commitment to expand early breast cancer detection and treatment in Cambodia in hopes of increasing survival rates.
The renewed commitment expands a program launched in 2008 in conjunction with the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE in Phnom Penh that provides free cancer screenings, medications, patient education and medical staff training at the charity hospital.
“By expanding the program, we will provide the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE with the vital resources necessary to treat women diagnosed with breast cancer who would not otherwise be able to afford treatment. We will also broaden our efforts to reach thousands more with breast cancer education, as studies have shown the importance of education and early detection in increasing survival rates,” said Dr. Frank Bia, medical director for AmeriCares.
The hospital treated 90 women for breast cancer last year – more than three times as many as before the program was launched two years ago thanks to the donated medicines and financial support from AmeriCares and AstraZeneca. The program goal is to treat 600 women annually by 2014.
“This collaboration with AmeriCares makes it possible for AstraZeneca to get critical medications to the women who need them in Cambodia and helps ensure cancers are detected and treated earlier,” said Jennifer McGovern, director, patient assistance programs, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP.
An alarming number of Cambodian women die every year due to a lack of public awareness, limited cancer screening opportunities and the high cost of treatment. Offering the rural poor population of Cambodia free services is critical because the exorbitant cost of cancer care often prevents cancer patients from seeking treatment. At Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE, cancer patients are provided with anti-hormonal treatment, lab testing and surgery at no cost.
AmeriCares is a nonprofit global health and disaster relief organization which delivers medicines, medical supplies and aid to people in need around the world and across the United States. Since it was established in 1982, AmeriCares has distributed more than $9 billion in humanitarian aid to 147 countries. For more information, log onto www.AmeriCares.org
AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines. As a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease medicines, AstraZeneca generated global revenues of $32.8 billion in 2009. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $14.8 billion healthcare business.
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