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October 2009: Breast Cancer Awareness and Black Women

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Bag It For Breast Cancer

10/08/09: Two handbag designers have dedicated their creative genius to an important cause. Nahui Ollin and Harveys handbags have designed new items to benefit breast cancer research.

The "Get Checked!" Tote by Harveys has pink and black seatbelts woven around each other, lined with matching pink and black Harveys signature monogrammed nylon, and a cause-worthy pink ribbon, in the shape of a seatbelt. It's available now at seatbeltbags.com and at any Harveys retail store for $138.00 of which $75 goes directly to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Nahui Ollin has promised to donate 50 percent of profits genereated by its $130 canvas tote with pink hand-embroidery to the Young Survival Coalition, a non- profit breast cancer organization for young breast cancer survivors.

These totes are subtle reminders to all the women who encounter them to get checked and have a mammogram. --WLW

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The American Cancer Society Bakes for a Good Cause

On Thursday, October 8 at 10 pm / 9 pm c, tune-in as Food Network cake master Duff Goldman helps to create special birthday cakes on his hit series, "Ace of Cakes." The American Cancer Society and the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) will hold the "Taste More Birthdays" cake contest. It's their efforts of creating a world with less cancer and more birthdays.

Tonight's episode will feature the contest winner, CIA student Alexandra Mudry's new take on the good old fashion Red Velvet Cake from a pool of five talented finalists, with Chef Goldman as the judge. Mudry's recipe is now the official birthday cake of the American Cancer Society.--WLW
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New Options for Women Facing Breast Cancer

10/07/09: A new report by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) found that 7 out of 10 women facing breast cancer are never told their options when it comes to breast reconstruction. Even though there was a 39 percent increase in breast reconstruction surgeries in 2008 compared to 2007, the ASPS found that 70 percent of breast cancer patients who are eligible for reconstruction are never told about it.

"Many doctors do not tell their patients about the full spectrum of options simply because they may not be familiar with them," states Dr. Scott Sullivan, of the St. Charles Surgical Hospital in New Orleans and a leader in the field of breast reconstruction.

Reconstruction done immediately after a mastectomy allows women to wake up from surgery without a mastectomy scar but with a new and often improved breast. The ASPC is advocating that doctors put the choice back into a woman's hands allowing her to decide whether reconstruction is a viable result to breast cancer surgery.-WLW

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How Black Women Can Lower Breast Cancer Risk

10/5/09: You are what you eat, and eating a diet low in sugar and processed meat and high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of breast cancer for some Black women, according to ABC News. A new study found that a "prudent" diet for thinner and younger women decreased the chances of breast cancer, for the 50,000 women included in the research.--CJ

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Obama Issues Proclamation in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

10/1/09: President Barack Obama issued the following proclamation to kick off the start of Breast Cancer Awareness month where he makes specific mention of how the disease affects Black women.

In 2009, more than 190,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer, and more than 40,000 women are expected to die from this disease. It is the most common non-skin cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women in the United States. As we observe National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we salute the brave Americans who are fighting this disease, including families and friends, advocates, researchers, and health care providers. We also pause to remember and pray for those we have lost to breast cancer.

Many Americans know someone who survived breast cancer due to early detection or improved treatment, and we must continue to discover ways to prevent, detect, and treat this disease. For us to better understand how breast cancer develops, to prevent recurrence, and to enhance the quality of life for survivors, we must support critical research programs. The National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will invest over $1 billion in research this year. Strengthening our knowledge of breast cancer development can lead to improvements in prevention and treatment.

Screening and early detection are essential to our Nation's fight against breast cancer. The National Cancer Institute recommends that women age 40 and older have mammograms every 1 to 2 years. Women who are at greater risk should talk with their health care providers about whether to have mammograms before age 40 and how often to have them. My Administration is committed to requiring insurance companies to cover mammograms with no extra charges, and prohibiting the denial of coverage based on pre-existing conditions, including breast cancer.

Breast cancer health disparities also present a serious challenge. White women have the highest breast cancer incidence rates, and African American women have higher mortality rates than other racial or ethnic groups in the United States. There is also evidence lesbian women are at a greater risk of developing breast cancer than heterosexual women. Every day, we are improving programs that address the issues women encounter in obtaining appropriate and timely treatment. As a Nation, we will overcome the financial and physical restraints of underserved populations and ensure access to quality health care.

Our Nation has made significant progress in the fight against breast cancer, and we remain firm in our commitment to do more. This month, we reaffirm our commitment to reduce the burden of breast cancer and our support for those who are living with this devastating disease. By raising awareness of this disease and supporting research, we can usher in a new era in our struggle against breast cancer.

I encourage citizens, Government agencies, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other interested groups to join in activities that will help Americans understand what they can do to prevent and control breast cancer.--President Barack Obama

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