Ward 8 Has the Highest Cancer Mortality Rates in Washington, D.C. This Nonprofit Intends to Change That.

Cancer Support Community to open its first-ever location in the District’s Ward 8 to serve the DMV.

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 09, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Despite having some of the world’s leading academic and research hospitals, Washington, D.C. has one of the highest reported death rates due to breast and prostate cancer in the nation and is ranked highest in overall cancer mortality. According to the District of Columbia’s Cancer Control Plan 2022-2026, there are 18,750 cancer survivors living in the District of Columbia, and residents of its Ward 8 have the highest mortality rates.   

For decades, the Cancer Support Community (CSC), a global nonprofit, has been headquartered in Washington, D.C., steps away from the White House and near the heartbeat of national legislative activities. CSC’s mission is to uplift and strengthen people impacted by cancer by providing support, fostering compassionate communities, and breaking down barriers to care. Witnessing this “tale of two cities” led CSC’s leadership to commit to establishing a service location in the DMV area, with a special focus on serving the residents of Washington, D.C.’s Wards 7 and 8. On Thurs., May 23, the Cancer Support Community Washington D.C. (CSC DC) will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new home, proudly located in Ward 8.

“The statistics for Washington, D.C. are staggering,” CSC CEO Sally Werner stated. “We know from our experience offering services at no cost, at 190 network partner locations across the U.S. and beyond, as well as operating our Cancer Support Helpline, that navigation and support can alleviate many challenges cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers face, including barriers to care related to health disparities, financial toxicity, and social and emotional concerns. We are confident that bringing our model of care to the region, and particularly Ward 8, will have a positive impact on the lives of people coping with a cancer diagnosis.”

In September 2021, CSC DC opened its virtual doors with the help of generous donors and those in the community who care about providing support and navigation services at no cost to Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia residents impacted by cancer. Since then, CSC DC has offered support groups, short-term counseling, navigation, education, and healthy lifestyle classes both online and in person through partnerships. They were recently featured in a POPSUGAR article about the emotional effects of breast cancer that can linger after treatment ends.  

"We are excited to have a place in Washington, D.C. to call home, particularly in an area whose residents have little access to care or support,” CSC DC Executive Director Zubair Ansari said, enthusiastically speaking of the two-story building on MLK Avenue SE in Ward 8 that will allow CSC DC to improve programming for communities that need it most. He looks forward to adding enhanced cancer support services, including nutritional demonstrations, in-person support, and more, to the menu of available services. “CSC DC will be a beacon of light for everyone in Washington, D.C. and its surrounding communities. I am thrilled to join forces with local support organizations, advocacy groups, and business partners to help mitigate health inequity in D.C. and the greater DMV area.”   

The May 23 celebration is expected to bring together CSC HQ and CSC DC leadership, healthcare providers, elected officials, supporters, patients, survivors, caregivers, advocacy groups, and other partners. Ward 8 Councilman Trayon White is scheduled to attend and present remarks. “I’m thrilled that CSC DC has chosen to open their first location in our famed Anacostia neighborhood,” Councilman White said. He further explained: “The health and wellness of my constituents is a top priority, and we all know that cancer is a life-changing diagnosis that can have a devastating impact on individuals and their families. Having compassionate, professionally led, evidence-based support, navigation, and education that is free for cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, and loved ones right here in our community is a game changer.” 

For more information about the ribbon cutting ceremony, contact Nathalie Casthely at communications@cancersupportcommunity.org.

About the Cancer Support Community Washington, D.C.

The Cancer Support Community Washington, D.C. is a nonprofit that uplifts and strengthens people impacted by cancer residing in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, with a focus on residents who are disproportionately affected by the disease. We are dedicated to fostering a community where patients, survivors, caregivers, and loved ones access emotional support, navigation, healthy lifestyle activities, social connection, education, and referral services provided with compassion and expertise — in person or online and at no cost. And we are committed to breaking down barriers to care.  In addition to having support in their community, participants are presented with opportunities to join forces with other impacted people from our partner locations across the U.S. and beyond to advocate on issues important to cancer patients at the local, state, and national levels and to contribute to important research that inspires positive change in cancer care and the patient experience. https://www.cancersupportdc.org/


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