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Puget Sound Komen for the Cure, Former First Lady Mona Locke, Washington Health Leaders and Breast Cancer Survivors Call for Action to Reduce State's High Breast Cancer Incidence

Washington Joins Nationwide Campaign to Close the Gaps that Make Breast

Cancer Deadlier for Low-Income Women and Women of Color

SEATTLE, Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Washington State has the highest rate of breast cancer incidence in the United States. Tonight, the Puget Sound Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure will host a forum at Town Hall Seattle at 6 p.m. and call on policymakers to increase the budget for screening programs for low-income women and those with little or no insurance. More than 4,000 Washington women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 770 will die of the disease this year.


"Washington State has been hard hit 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 Mona Locke, Interim Executive Director of the Puget Sound Affiliate of Komen for the Cure and former First Lady of Washington. "Every woman deserves the same chance to beat this disease regardless of how much she earns, the color of her skin or whether she has health insurance."

The Washington Breast and Cervical Health Program provides mammograms and early detection services for low-income and uninsured and underinsured women, but currently serves only 37 percent of eligible women. Komen advocates increasing the program's budget by 10 percent each year. By FY 2012, with this proposed increase, 80 percent of eligible women will be able to be screened.

In the United States, a woman has about a 13 percent risk -- or one in eight -- of developing breast cancer in her lifetime. Low-income women have lower screening rates, are more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer and are three times more likely to die from the disease.

Tonight's Town Hall marks the launch of Washington's participation in the Komen Community Challenge. The Komen Community Challenge is a 25-city, grassroots campaign to elevate breast cancer on the state and national agenda and to draw attention to disparities in breast cancer incidence and mortality.

In addition, the Komen On the Go(TM) mobile trailer will be at Seattle University Campus (in front of the Student Center) today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Western Washington University (Red Square) tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Komen On the Go(TM) is a hands-on learning experience featuring a pink trailer as an interactive learning center, complete with computer kiosks, breast cancer educational materials, breast self-examination (BSE) guides, information on how to volunteer locally, registration cards for the Komen Race for the Cure(TM) and tips on how to be an effective co-survivor.

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure, we have invested nearly $1 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. Since 1993, the Puget Sound Affiliate of Komen for the Cure has raised more than $18 million for services in Western Washington and for research to find the cure(s) for breast cancer. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit or call 1-800 I'M AWARE.

SOURCE Susan G. Komen for the Cure
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