Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 6 Issue 273 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 29-Sep-2004 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 30-Sep-2004
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The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation encourages citizens to ask candidates to define their positions on breast cancer

As the 2004 election nears, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the nation's largest private funding source for breast cancer research and community outreach programs, is launching a grassroots advocacy campaign to mark the 20th anniversary of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Beginning 1 October 2004, the Komen Foundation is encouraging citizens to ask the presidential candidates and contenders for Congressional seats to define their positions on breast cancer issues. Citizens can visit to join the campaign.

"With the elections fast approaching, we have a special opportunity to put breast cancer on the national agenda," said Diane L. Balma, the Komen Foundation's director of public policy. "We are asking citizens to seize this opportunity and ask their candidates where they stand on this critical issue to public health."

Thousands of Americans are touched by this devastating disease. This year, more than 217,000 women and men in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die from the disease. In addition to invasive breast cancer, nearly 60,000 new cases of pre-malignant in situ breast cancer are expected to occur among women in 2004. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women ages 40-50.

"Over the past two decades, we have made great strides in advancing research, education, screening, and treatment. But, the lives lost every year are a reminder of just how far we still have to go," added Balma.

Currently, federal officeholders control a lion's share of the budget for cancer programs. As Election Day nears, the Komen Foundation is reminding constituents of the strong need to communicate with candidates about the importance of breast cancer issues. The public is encouraged to join the campaign by visiting America's town hall on breast cancer at The Web site is a virtual advocacy forum offering every American the opportunity to educate policymakers on crucial issues surrounding breast cancer.

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. Since inception, together with its Affiliate Network, corporate partners and generous donors, the Komen Foundation has raised more than $740 million for the fight against breast cancer.

For questions about breast health or breast cancer, visit the Komen Foundation's Web site at or call the Komen Foundation's Toll-Free Breast Care Helpline at 1.800.I'M AWARE® (1.800.462.9273).

Visit to Join the Campaign

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