September 10, 2008

New Study Reveals Radiation Treatment Less Likely for African American Women Fighting Breast Cancer

HOUSTON, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a new study, African American women with breast cancer who have a lumpectomy are less likely to receive radiation treatment compared to white women-the standard for early stage breast cancer. Radiation therapy reduces both the chance of recurrence and improves the chance of survival. The study by the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center researchers is the largest of its kind and will be among the many breast cancer issues addressed during Sisters Network Inc. 10th National African American Breast Cancer survivorship conference on September 19-21, 2008 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Houston, Texas.

"M.D. Anderson Cancer Center study not only confirms the serious problem of African American breast cancer patients not receiving the same quality of care as white women, it also reinforces the important and much needed voice Sisters Network continues to contribute as the nation's leading advocate for African American breast cancer survivorship," says Karen E. Jackson, Founder/CEO, Sisters Network Inc.

Researchers examined the treatment history of over 37,000 women over age 66 who underwent a lumpectomy for their breast cancer. Overall, 74 percent of the white women received radiation therapy after their lumpectomy compared to 65 percent of black breast cancer patients who received the same treatment. The cause of the racial disparity is unclear.

"Sisters Network is committed to working with the medical community to eliminate any obstacles that prohibit any woman from receiving the best treatment options for their breast cancer," adds Jackson.

According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 20,000 newly diagnosed cases of breast cancer are expected to occur among African American women, and 5,640 are expected to die with the disease. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among African American women.

Sisters Network national annual conference is the only one of its kind specifically focusing on the deadly impact breast cancer has among African American women nationwide. Robin Roberts, ABC News' Good Morning America Co-Anchor and nationally recognized breast cancer survivor and advocate will serve as keynote speaker of the organization's upcoming conference.

The Kroger Company is the conference underwriter. Sponsors to date include the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), AstraZeneca, Abraxis BioScience, GlaxoSmithKline Oncology, Genentech, Sanofi Aventis, Bristol-Myers Squibb Oncology, Genomic Health, Aetna Foundation and MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Registration fee is $250.00. Participants can also earn continuing education CEU AND CHES credits. Registration is available online at or call (866) 781-1808.

Sisters Network Inc. is the nation's largest African American breast cancer survivorship organization since 1994. The organization has solidified itself as the national voice for the African American women's fight against breast cancer. Currently, Sisters Network has more than 45 affiliate chapters and more than 3000 members/associate members nationwide. As a leading advocate to increase and promote African American breast health awareness, Sisters Network efforts have impacted an estimated 4.5 million people during 2007 outreach education initiatives.

Contact: Caleen Allen

713. 781.0255

Sisters Network Inc.

CONTACT: Caleen Allen of Sisters Network Inc., +1-713-781-0255

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