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This month the nation is awash in pink and the Prevent Cancer Foundation is doing its part to promote breast cancer awareness and early detection through funded research, outreach and education programs. Over its history, the Foundation has funded 75 breast cancer research projects. These important studies have ranged from biomarkers and imaging research to dietary factors and risk reduction strategies.

The Foundation’s ¡Celebremos la Vida! program has been providing breast cancer screening and education in the DC metro area for 16 years. This hallmark program has provided over 6,500 screening and diagnostic mammograms to underserved Hispanic women over 40 years old. Project Early Awareness targets younger women, typically 10th to 12th grade high school students. The program is run in partnership with the Howard University Cancer Center. The educational sessions reach young women and men in DC with vital breast health and cancer prevention information and encourage them to share the message of early detection with their relatives and caregivers. The program’s interactive activities include role-play scenarios where the students practice sharing information with others and advocating for their health.

Stemming from the breast cancer work in the DC high schools, the Foundation and Howard University Cancer Center developed breast health education materials for nation-wide use. The Breast Health Education for Young Women facilitator’s guide and DVD are designed for use by group leaders. The guide includes instructions for providing skills-based breast health education to groups of young women. It also contains all necessary forms, sample tests and FAQs to make it easy to implement the program in any setting. The materials can be ordered and the guide can be downloaded for free on the Foundation’s Web site.

Additionally, the Foundation supports breast cancer outreach locally through the George Washington University Mammovan and nationally through the community grants program. To date, the Mammovan has provided over 30,000 mammograms to women in DC, MD and northern VA. Community grantees focused on breast cancer include the St. Thomas Health Clinic providing screening and education to the underserved women in New Orleans and the Washoe Tribal Health Center providing education to American Indian women in Nevada.

The Foundation is committed to increasing breast cancer awareness and screening and researching ways to prevent the disease. Prevent Cancer is proud to support breast cancer programs and provide free materials during the month of October and throughout the year.

What have you done in the month of October or throughout the year to increase breast cancer awareness and screening?