San Ysidro Health Center.

Each year 1 in 8 women will hear the words ‘you have breast cancer.’ As devastating a diagnosis, there is hope. There are new treatments, new programs and there is San Ysidro Health Center (SYHC). While October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, SYHC is there for the community all year long. Providing critical health services to over 90,000 people in the greater San Diego area, SYHC’s patients are provided excellent comprehensive support and services throughout their cancer journey.

Through PODER, SYHC’s comprehensive breast and cervical cancer program, patients are offered these services free of charge. Thanks to funding from generous individuals and organizations like Susan G. Komen San Diego, who has provided partial funding for PODER since 2004, SYHC is able to meet the needs of patients who might otherwise not have access to care. Whether it is preventative and early detection screening such as yearly clinical breast exams, mammograms and Pap smears, or post-diagnosis support, the staff at SYHC is trained to ensure patients get the care and services they need.

Patients like Olga C. who shares, “I had been a patient at the SYHC’s Otay Family Health Clinic for several years when, during a breast self-exam, I found a lump. I called SYHC and they were able to schedule my appointment right away. The doctor sent me to get a mammogram and an ultrasound. When they gave me the results that I had cancer I was able to meet with my patient navigator that same day. I was so confused and scared because I did not know where to start, but she was very helpful.”

Olga was referred to a support group for cancer survivors where they explained everything she was going to go through — including the possible effects of chemotherapy and radiation. That support group became her ‘safe place’ during her treatment. Olga can now happily add, “If I needed any help I knew that I could turn to our support group facilitator. SYHC was my support. So, here I am, cancer free for 7 years!”