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Democratic Candidates Miss Key Health Issue in Debate

Candidates Are Ignoring the Fight Against Cancer

CLEVELAND, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama took the stage for a final debate before the March 4 primaries. The candidates addressed many troubling matters important to the American public but fell short on a critical health issue -- breast cancer. Breast cancer is an issue identified by 62 percent of Americans as the key health issue facing women today.


"Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama gave us a wide-ranging and informative discussion of issues important to all Americans," said Diane Balma, head of Susan G. Komen for the Cure Advocacy Alliance. "But we are disappointed that breast cancer, which takes the lives of almost 2,000 women in Ohio each year, was not even mentioned during the debate. In fact, Ohio ranks fourth in the nation for breast cancer mortality."

A recent nationwide survey commissioned by the Komen Advocacy Alliance revealed voters' attitudes about health care, breast cancer and the 2008 election. More than 90 percent of voters want the federal government to pay more attention to breast cancer research, screening and early detection and access to quality care for all. A majority of voters (62 percent) believe breast cancer is the most critical health problem facing women today. But only one in 10 voters is aware of their preferred presidential candidate's position on issues relating to breast cancer.

"Breast cancer, and cancer in general, is indicative of the barriers, gaps and disparities inherent in the U.S. health care system," added Balma. "Women without insurance, racial and ethnic minorities, and women in underserved areas are less likely to receive the care they need and are more likely to die from the disease. The candidates are missing a ripe opportunity to draw distinctions between their health care policies and inform voters on how they plan to end breast cancer and its disparities."

The Komen Advocacy Alliance has launched a special project, I Vote for the Cure(TM), to educate voters and challenge the presidential candidates to make breast cancer a national priority. I Vote for the Cure(TM) is challenging candidates to address three achievable goals that will save lives and help end breast cancer forever: increasing investment in translational research, improving access to screening, and ensuring quality treatment for all women. For more information, visit

About the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Advocacy Alliance

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982 that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and since then the organization has been at the forefront of a global fight against breast cancer. Through the newly formed Susan G. Komen for the Cure Advocacy Alliance, a tax-exempt, 501c4 nonpartisan organization, Komen for the Cure is taking the next logical next step in its evolution: expanding its reach in the health policies arena. With the freedom to actively lobby for life-saving breast cancer public policy change, the Komen Advocacy Alliance will directly engage policymakers and opinion leaders to advocate for increased funding for breast cancer research and greater access to screening and treatment.

SOURCE Susan G. Komen for the Cure Advocacy Alliance
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