Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 6 Issue 125 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 4-May-2004 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 5-May-2004
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Honoring Mother's Day: The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation launches a grassroots campaign in support of access to quality care

Dallas, TX - May 3, 2004 - The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the nation's largest private funding source for breast cancer research and community outreach programs, launched a grassroots advocacy campaign in support of legislation that will ensure access to quality mammography and save women's lives.

"As Congress considers important mammography legislation, we are asking Komen Foundation supporters to honor Mother's Day by writing their Representatives about the value of access to quality care, including mammography screening," said Diane Balma, the Komen Foundation's director of public policy. "By visiting, you can make a real difference in the lives of women facing breast cancer and their families." More than 40,000 women in the United States will die this year from breast cancer, leaving behind their mothers and daughters, husbands, sons, siblings, cousins, and friends. Quality mammography screening is still the best tool we have for detecting breast cancer early, when it is most treatable.

The Komen Foundation's campaign comes as the U.S. House of Representatives considers the reauthorization of the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA), which has already passed in the Senate with unanimous, bipartisan support.

Before MQSA was enacted in 1992, an uneven and conflicting patchwork of standards for mammography jeopardized the technology and its efficacy. There were no national quality standards for personnel or equipment. Image quality of mammograms and patient exposure to radiation levels varied widely, and equipment quality was poor. Physicians and technologists lacked adequate training, and inspections were lacking. MQSA improved the situation greatly. Today, mammography, while not perfect, is the gold standard for breast cancer screening. MQSA established Federal safety and quality assurance standards for mammography facilities, for personnel (including doctors who interpret mammograms), for equipment, and for operating procedures.

"MQSA is a lifesaving measure, and we need to remind Congress that, for the nearly 216,000 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, early detection can mean the difference between life and death," Balma said.

Members of the public can join the campaign by visiting America's town hall on breast cancer at The Web site is a virtual advocacy forum offers every American the opportunity to influence the federal government on crucial breast cancer issues.

About the Komen Foundation

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was established in 1982 by Nancy Brinker to honor the memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died from breast cancer at the age of 36. Today, the Foundation is an international organization with a network of more than 75,000 volunteers working through local Affiliates and events like the Komen Race for the Cure® to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease. A global leader in the fight against breast cancer, the Foundation fulfills its mission through support of innovative breast cancer research grants, meritorious awards and educational, scientific and community outreach programs around the world.

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