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Susan G. Komen for the Cure Launches Komen Community Challenge With Governor's Pink Ribbon Week Proclamation and Executive Mansion Reception
Date:10/16/2007

Komen NC Triangle Affiliate Joins Nationwide Campaign to Close the Gaps that Make Breast Cancer Deadlier for Low-Income Women and Women of Color

RALEIGH, N.C., Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The North Carolina Triangle Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure today joined Governor Easley to proclaim Oct. 15-21, 2007 as Pink Ribbon Week. The proclamation and a Monday evening Executive Mansion reception with First Lady Mary Easley marked Raleigh's participation in the Komen Community Challenge, a national campaign to close the gaps in research, policy and access to quality care that make breast cancer deadlier for some women than for others.

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

Following the Governor's proclamation, speakers addressed the success of North Carolina's Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP). The BCCCP program, which provides cancer screening and detection services for low-income and uninsured women, was appropriated $4 million over two years in the state budget in July, expanding its services to an additional 8,000 North Carolinians. Ms. Wanda Williams, a breast cancer survivor, shared her story of how the program provided her with life saving, early detection services when she would have otherwise had no access to screening or care.

Speakers at both the proclamation press conference and reception cited shocking racial disparities in breast cancer mortality rates and tremendous barriers that prevent low-income women from receiving care. According to the National Cancer Institute, African American women in North Carolina are dying of breast cancer at a higher rate (34 per 100,000) than their Caucasian counterparts (24 per 100,000).

"North Carolina 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 Kathleen Scharl, President of the NC Triangle Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure at the Monday night reception.

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 are more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer and are three times more likely to die from the disease. This year alone, more than 6,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in North Carolina and more than 1,200 will die of the disease.

"The most significant risk factors for getting breast cancer are being female and getting older. We need more breast care navigators who can help women make sense of the health care system. We need more funding for cancer research. Most of all, we need to move beyond talk and into action," said Scharl.

At the reception, Komen unveiled public service announcements featuring First Lady Mary Easley and Coach Kay Yow. The PSAs will air on WRAL-TV as part of the Komen Community Challenge. State Health Director, Dr. Leah Devlin provided additional remarks regarding BCCCP and public health. The evening concluded when family members of the late Sen. Jeanne Hopkins Lucas received a pledge to continue fighting for a cure in her memory. Sen. Lucas was North Carolina's first African-American female elected to the state senate, and she passed away of breast cancer in March 2007.

Monday night's reception was part of Susan G. Komen for the Cure's "Komen Community Challenge," a 25-city tour and powerful new grassroots campaign to reach tens of thousands through community rallies, town hall meetings and state lobby days, rallying people together to close the gaps in research, policy and access to quality care that make breast cancer deadlier for some women than for others. Komen for the Cure is marking its 25th anniversary year by ratcheting up the fight against breast cancer and taking its special brand of pink ribbon activism on the road.

About the NC Triangle Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure

The NC Triangle Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure -- along with those who generously support us with their talent, time and resources -- is working to better the lives of those facing breast cancer in our community. We join more than 100,000 breast cancer survivors and activists around the globe as part of the world's largest and most progressive grassroots network fighting breast cancer. Through events like the Komen NC Triangle Race for the Cure, we have invested millions of dollars in local breast health and breast cancer awareness projects in fourteen counties surrounding the Triangle. Up to 75 percent of net proceeds generated by the Komen NC Triangle Affiliate stay in the fourteen county area while the remaining income goes to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Award and Research Grant Programs supporting research, awards and educational and scientific programs around the world. Join us by calling 919-493-2873 or visiting us online at http://www.komennctriangle.org.

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. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit http://www.komen.org or call 1-800 I'M AWARE.


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SOURCE Susan G. Komen for the Cure
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