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Breast-cancer awareness now in national consciousness
Date:4/8/2011

diagnoses available.

The research found that before NBCAM was well established in the early 1990s, there were large fluctuations in the diagnosis of breast cancer. Most notable to the researchers were significant spikes in 1974 and 1987 coinciding with announcements by first ladies Betty Ford and Nancy Reagan when each disclosed a breast cancer diagnosis.

"Our findings indicate that during the period before NBCAM, when breast cancer was rarely talked about, celebrity diagnoses reminded women of the risk of breast cancer and led some to seek out screening, and consequently resulted in increases in diagnoses," said Kathryn Jacobsen.

According to Kathryn Jacobsen, breast cancer awareness was a rich subject for the study because it is one of the oldest and most well-established awareness campaigns in the U.S.

"So much has changed from 1987 when only 30 percent of women reported having a mammogram in the previous two years," she said. "Communities came together -- women and men -- to talk about breast cancer, and screenings among the target group increased to 70 percent by 1999."

"Our study is actually good news for breast cancer advocacy. It suggests that breast cancer advocacy efforts have increased awareness of the need for regular screening among American women," said Grant Jacobsen. "There are other associated benefits beyond initial screenings that should perhaps be expanded now that the awareness campaign is mature."

Breast cancer organizations now raise significant funds for research and facilitate support groups and connections for women with breast cancer and their families and friends. As the study concludes, these activities broaden the campaigns beyond screenings, which have been successful among the target audience.


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Contact: Julie Brown
julbrown@uoregon.edu
541-346-3185
University of Oregon
Source:Eurekalert  

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