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Give a Mammogram

Did you know that only one out of every two women age 40 and older in the U.S. reported having a mammogram in the past year? That’s one of the statistics just released by the American Cancer Society. That’s a chilling statistic considering that the most significant risk factors for getting breast cancer are being female and getting older. A woman in the U.S. has a one in eight lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.

The good news is that you can take care of yourself and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Another fact released is that about 80 to 90 percent of breast cancers in women without symptoms in the U.S. will be detected by mammography. The 5-year survival rate for female breast cancer survivors has improved to 90 percent today. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 2.5 million women with a history of breast cancer were alive, either cancer free or undergoing treatment, in January 2006.

The lowest prevalence (about 33 percent) of mammography screening in the past two years occurred among women who do not have health insurance, followed by immigrant women who have lived in the U.S. for less than 10 years (50 percent).

Schedule your mammogram. Go to www.komen.org to learn more about risk factors and screening. Better yet, help to boost the screening rate for those women who are uninsured or under-insured. The Orange County Komen Fund for Breast Health and our Community Grant partners will help reach women in Orange County who need breast health information, screening and treatment. Donate at www.komenoc.org or register to attend a Komen event, like Race for the Cure on Sunday, September 26.

PINK OUT Breakers Stadium!

Join us as we PINK OUT The Tennis Club on July 15th for the Newport Beach Breakers Ladies Night!

The Breakers will face the St. Louis Aces, but the evening will start with a FREE Ladies Tennis Clinic conducted by Coach Trevor Kronemann and the Breakers’ own Julie Ditty and Marie-Eve Pelletier.  A special appearance will be made by tennis star Lindsay Davenport and tennis legend Billie Jean King!  Tickets to the match can be purchased at www.NewportBeachBreakers.com or by calling 714/352-6301.  Registration for the clinic starts at 5:15 at The Tennis Club Newport Beach and is open to any female with a ticket for the July 15th match.  The clinic will run from 5:30-6:15 and the match starts at 7:15.  A portion of the proceeds from the Ladies Night will benefit the Komen Orange County Affiliate.  For more information, please visit www.NewportBeachBreakers.com.

Jillian Michaels to Host All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run

Earlier this month we posted about the MLB All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run that will take place Sunday, July 11, and benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure as well as other great charities such as Stand Up to Cancer, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and City of Hope. We couldn’t be more excited for the event, especially after learning that America’s Wellness Coach and Stand Up to Cancer Ambassador Jillian Michaels, star of The Biggest and Losing It With Jillian, is proudly showing her support for cancer research and education by hosting the run/walk.

She will be joining Major League Baseball and Angels Hall of Famer Bobby Grich to encourage, hand out medals and congratulate participants as they cross the finish line. Jillian encourages everyone to come out and be a part of the action on the baseball-themed course featuring appearances by MLB legends, mascots and celebrity guests.

You can still sign up and find additional event information at www.allstargame.com. The All-Star Charity 5K is a great way to prepare for the Komen Orange County Race for the Cure coming up on September 26, so lace up your running shoes and be sure to register early so you don’t miss a chance to meet Jillian and help support four great cancer charities.

Our Friend Nanci

Nanci Brown as a Komen "cover girl" in 2002.

Carla Cammack and Nanci Brown were “breast friends” – two breast cancer survivors who motivated and enjoyed each other. Nanci Brown died earlier this month on her 64th birthday. Nanci was the Komen Orange County 2002 Most Inspirational Breast Cancer Survivor. Carla is a Komen Orange County board member and has volunteered in key positions with Race for the Cure for many years, including as Race Chair.

This is what Carla has to say about her “breast friend” Nanci:

“The photo below was taken when I flew to Florida to say goodbye to my dear friend. Nanci’s phenomenal strength and courage as she battled Stage 4 breast cancer the last seven years has been a constant source of inspiration to me in my work with Komen.  At the 2008 Race for the Cure Survivor Tribute, I was able to honor Nanci by sharing with the 30,000 people in attendance that Nanci’s goal in January of that year was to be alive and well enough to travel to southern California for our Race in September.  And there she was – in person – at our Race.  The crowd cheered in celebration of her accomplishment and she became an instant celebrity.  She was thrilled at the attention!

“When I just saw her in Florida, Nanci was lucid and coherent, so I was able to tell her how much she has meant to me and how much I loved her and she was able to tell me the same thing.  I promised her that I was going to continue to use her story to inspire and help as many other women as I could and that made her happy.

“I don’t want to have to say goodbye to any more dear friends. Everyone must do their part to put an end to this disease, so please help in any way you can!”

Friends Nanci and Carla.

To register for the 2010 Race for the Cure, to make a donation, to volunteer or for breast cancer education, go to www.komenoc.org. We will continue to be inspired by Nanci Brown.

Sign up Early and Save for the 2010 Race for the Cure

Participants and supporters gather at Fashion Island for the 2009 Race.

Komen OC is inviting friends, families, corporate teams, runners, walkers, breast health advocates and breast cancer survivors to take advantage of a special early-bird $30 online registration now open for the 19th annual Komen Orange County Race for the Cure. This year’s Race is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 26 at Fashion Island in Newport Beach.

Our 5K run/walk unites more than 30,000 supporters in the fight against breast cancer, and is one of Southern California’s largest and most anticipated fundraising events celebrating breast cancer survivors and remembering loved ones lost to the disease.

Sign up early, support the cause, and involve others in raising awareness. Every step you take will help raise vital funds for breast cancer education, research and life-saving treatments and screenings for Orange County women.

Participants who register online HERE by June 30 can take advantage of the early-bird registration fee of $30; beginning July 1, the registration fee will increase to $35.  All registrations include the new Race for the Cure t-shirt.

Visit our website at http://www.komenoc.org for more info and register today!

A Global Conversation

Chris Tannous, center, at conference

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is continually expanding its Global Initiatives and Orange County Board President Chris Tannous is an active participant. At the 2010 Conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists, Tannous joined in a roundtable discussion sharing best practices in patient services, outreach and education with the Breast Cancer Network Japan – Akebono-kai.  This was an opportunity to start a dialog with a well-established breast cancer organization in Japan.

At the Conference, Tannous was on a panel along with two medical oncologists, two breast cancer survivors and a translator. The primary areas of discussion were: talking with your doctor, employment issues and patient support services.

Highlights of the discussion included the fact that in Japan a patient would never take someone with them to an appointment, but would instead use a tape-recorder to record the session to share with anyone else. They were surprised to learn that there is an organization like the Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC) that can help cancer patients with employment issues.  In Japan, there is no such organization and they were interested in learning more. Although Akebono-kai is celebrating its 30th anniversary, it is only recently that they considered involving spouses in their programs.  The notion of “co-survivor” was completely new, but an avenue that they intend to explore further.  Finally, there was the realization that advocacy comes in many forms – research, fundraising, public policy, patient support and outreach and education.  Although they focus on patient support and outreach and education, they are ready to expand their advocacy efforts.

Tannous, a breast cancer survivor and Komen Advocate in Science, is hopeful that the connection might lead to a global partnership — everyone involved is interested in future collaborations and sharing of best practices.

Outstanding Media Coverage for the 2010 Pink Tie Ball

This year’s Pink Tie Ball, held May 15 at the private Atlantic Aviation Hangar at John Wayne Airport, received great media coverage and we’re anticipating even more hits in the upcoming weeks. Some of our favorites include:

Photo by: Cindy Yamanaka, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Orange County Register reporter Peggy Lowe wrote an uplifting article about Komen OC volunteer Diane Swintal, the “hardest-working unemployed person in Orange County” who donated her time to the Pink Tie Ball.

Click here to read the inspiring story.

Photo by: Nancy Villere

944 sent photographer Nancy Villere out to capture the night’s events for a slideshow of images, highlighting everything from the delicious food to the pink-clad guests.

Click here for the full gallery.

Photo courtesy of News-n-Views

In its weekly newsletter, News-n-Views featured “Legendary Local” Mary Ann Mary Ann Miller-Messana, an Irvine breast cancer survivor who volunteers with Komen OC and served on the committee for the 2010 Pink Tie Ball.

Click here for the story.

A Homerun for You and Komen

Major League Baseball’s All Star Game is coming to Anaheim in early July. Unlike the professional baseball players waiting for fan approval, you can plan on being inside Angel Stadium that week, on the warning track. You can be there! Sign up now for the All-Star Game Charity 5K and Fun Run presented by Sports Authority and Nike.

The date is Sunday, July 11. The 5K run begins outside the stadium at 7:30 a.m. and the 1-mile fun run starts at 8 a.m. You finish the race inside, on the warning track. Register at www.allstargame.com.

The win-win about the race is that all proceeds go to four cancer charities, including Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Those dollars can help strike out breast cancer! If you need more motivation, the website gives stories of inspiration and Orange County breast cancer survivor Rebecca Hultquist is profiled there.

You should also check out www.peopleallstars.com. People Magazine is highlighting All Stars Among Us and the Cincinnati Reds are honoring Tracie Metzger, coauthor of the book “Voices of Breast Cancer: The Healing Companion: Stories of Courage, Comfort and Strength.” You can vote for Tracie as many times as you like before June 10.

The All-Star Charity run or walk would be great training for the Komen Orange County Race for the Cure coming up on September 26. Don’t wait too long to register – 8,000 people participated last year at the St. Louis All-Star Charity 5K event.

California Breast Cancer Advocates Say Audit of State’s Screening Program Reinforces Need to Protect Funding; Make Critical Reforms

The California State Auditor released an audit today of California’s Every Woman Counts (EWC) program that suggests the state’s ability to adequately provide breast cancer screening for its neediest women is threatened by budget cuts and poor fiscal management, according to the seven California Affiliates of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the global leader of the breast cancer movement.

Late last year the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) suspended all new enrollments for breast cancer screening services under EWC, effective January 1, 2010 until July 2, 2010.  CDPH also raised the eligibility age for breast cancer screening services to 50 years of age and over indefinitely.  The state blamed the reduction in services on declining tobacco tax revenues and increasing caseloads, which were causing the demand for services to exceed available funding.  At the time, California’s seven Komen for the Cure Affiliates, which collaborate on state-wide public policy issues, called for the suspension to be lifted and the eligibility age to be restored to age 40 and above.

The State Audit found that declining revenue and budget cuts severely impede the program’s ability to serve all eligible California women. The CDPH failed to maximize the funding it does receive to provide breast cancer screening services, possibly resulting in tens of thousands of women not receiving services for which they were eligible.

Detecting breast cancer early significantly increases one’s chances of surviving the disease. Komen Affiliates want to ensure that all women age 40 and older have access to lifesaving breast cancer screening and early detection.  The CDPH, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, funds breast cancer screening to low-income uninsured and underinsured women who are not eligible for Medicaid.  Komen noted that when breast cancer is detected early, before it spreads beyond the breast, the 5-year relative survival rate is 98 percent.  Once the cancer spreads to other parts of the body, survival rates plummet to 23 percent.

For more information, visit the Komen Advocacy Alliance online to learn ways on how you can make an impact and vote for the cure.

Nancy Brinker at Our Race

You think it’s too early to commit to the Komen Orange County Race for the Cure on September 26? People are already registering for the Race. One person in particular who plans to attend is Ambassador Nancy Brinker, the Founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. If she can put our Race on her calendar, you can too.

Brinker has a new book being published on September 14, just days before the Orange County Race. You can read an excerpt of “Promise Me” at www.promisemebynancygbrinker.com. The book will remind you about Susan Komen, the sister who was Nancy’s motivation to make a difference for other women fighting breast cancer.

The book tells how the promise to Susie launched Nancy on a thirty-year-long mission to change the way the world thought of, spoke of, and treated breast cancer. Brinker’s unparalleled success at turning $200 and a list of would-be donors into a movement that has saved the lives of women was recognized by President Obama in August 2009, when he awarded Brinker the Presidential Medal of Freedom. “In the months after making that promise,” the President noted, “Nancy lay awake at night wondering if one person can really make a difference. Nancy’s life is the answer.”

Come hear Nancy on Sunday, September 26, to be inspired. Early registration this month will save you money at www.komenoc.org.