September 30, 2008

Early Detection Is a Woman’s Best Protection Against Breast Cancer

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- One in four women in San Diego County are not being screened for breast cancer and are at risk for developing the deadly disease, according to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego. Misinformation, language and cultural barriers, practical barriers and a lack of funding for state-wide screening programs are keeping women from life-saving screening. So, as October dawns, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is encouraging all San Diegans to use Breast Cancer Awareness Month as an opportunity to become educated on breast health and early breast cancer detection and to join in the fight toward ending breast cancer forever.

"Today, a person diagnosed with breast cancer in the earliest stages has a 98 percent chance of living at least five more years, on average, compared to only 77 percent in 1982," stated Laura Farmer Sherman, executive director of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego. "Many advances have helped make breast cancer survivors the single largest group of cancer survivors in the United States. So this month, take your life into your hands -- the life you save may be your own."

   Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego recommends the following:    --  Know your risk       --  Talk to your family to learn about your family health history       --  Talk to your healthcare provider about your personal risk of           breast cancer     --  Get screened      --  Ask your doctor which screening tests are right for you if you are          at higher risk      --  Have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at          average risk      --  Have a clinical breast exam at least every three years starting at          age 20, and every year starting at age 40     --  Know what is normal for you and see your healthcare provider right       away if you notice any of these breast changes:       --  Lump, hard knot or thickening       --  Swelling, warmth, redness or darkening       --  Change in the size or shape of the breast       --  Dimpling or puckering of the skin       --  Itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple       --  Pulling in of your nipple or other parts of the breast       --  Nipple discharge that starts suddenly       --  New pain in one spot that does not go away     --  Make healthy lifestyle choices       --  Maintain a healthy weight       --  Add exercise into your routine       --  Limit alcohol intake    
"Many women believe they do not have access to mammograms and breast health exams because they are uninsured -- or underinsured. That's not the case," said Farmer Sherman. "Our legislators passed the Every Woman Counts program in order to increase access to care. Any uninsured or underinsured woman age 40 or older who earns 200 percent or less of the federal poverty-level figure qualifies for the program. In addition, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego contributes to those who need assistance. Living without a screening is not an option, and we encourage San Diegans to contact us at 858-573-2760 to find out more about how we can provide assistance."

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego

Since its inception in 1995, more than $7 million has been given to local organizations that provide breast cancer education, screening, diagnostics, treatment and patient support for the uninsured or underinsured in San Diego County. Through a combination of fundraising events, grant-writing workshops, educational seminars and advocating for state legislation, the volunteers of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego are dedicated to addressing the immediate breast health needs of the communities they serve. Seventy-five percent of proceeds are awarded locally each year through a grant process to local organizations. Each grantee conducts a program that offers breast cancer education, screening or treatment to residents in the San Diego area. The remaining 25 percent is directed to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure National Grant Program to fund research on a national and international level.

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure, the organization has invested nearly $1 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.

    Contact:    Laura Farmer Sherman                    Rachel Lipsitz    Executive Director                      Public Relations Chair    Susan G. Komen for the Cure,            Susan G. Komen for the Cure,     San Diego                               San Diego    858-573-2760                            858-449-9575    [email protected]                       [email protected]  

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego

CONTACT: Laura Farmer Sherman, Executive Director, +1-858-573-2760,[email protected], or Rachel Lipsitz, Public Relations Chair, +1-858-449-9575,[email protected], both of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, SanDiego

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