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Central Mississippi Steel Magnolias Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Elected Officials, Health Leaders and Breast Cancer Survivors Call for Action to Reduce State's High Breast Cancer Mortality Rate
Date:11/13/2007

Mississippi Joins Nationwide Campaign to Close the Gaps that Make Breast

Cancer Deadlier for Low-Income Women and Women of Color

JACKSON, Miss., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Central Mississippi Steel Magnolias Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure today hosted a public forum at UMC Conference Center at the Jackson Medical Mall, calling on policymakers to increase the budget for breast cancer screening programs for low-income and underinsured women. Mississippi has the third highest breast cancer mortality rate in the nation. In 2007, more than 1,600 Mississippi women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 450 will die.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070122/NYM084LOGO)

"Mississippi has been hit hard by breast cancer and low-income women and women of color have been hit the hardest. We need to close the gaps in research, policy and access to quality care that make breast cancer deadlier for some women," said Sherry Pitts, president of the Steel Magnolias Affiliate of Komen for the Cure.

The Mississippi Breast and Cervical Cancer Early-detection Program (MS BCCEP) provides mammograms and early detection services for low-income and uninsured and underinsured women, but currently serves only nine percent of eligible women. Komen advocates increasing the program's budget by $500,000, which would enable 2,000 additional women to receive these life-saving services.

Entertainer and breast cancer survivor, Paul Ott Carruth moderated a panel of experts who discussed strategies for addressing Mississippi's high breast cancer mortality rates. Panelists included Sen. Alan Nunnelee (R-Tupelo); Rep. John Hines (D-Greenville); Dr. Ralph Vance, oncologist and former national president of the American Cancer Society; Dr. Phillip Ley, surgical oncologist at Mississippi Breast Center; Dr. Annette Low, director of the University of MS Medic
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SOURCE Susan G. Komen for the Cure
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