National Leaders, Others Advocate for Breast Cancer Screening, Early Detection
October 4, 2011 – U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius joined American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network leaders, two congresswomen and breast cancer survivors at Georgetown’s Capital Breast Care Center (CBCC) Oct. 4 to underscore the importance of screening and early detection.
The CBCC, located in southeast Washington, D.C., is an initiative of the university’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The center is one of the largest providers in the area of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which has provided low-income, uninsured and underinsured women access to life-saving breast and cervical cancer screenings since 1991.
One in Eight
“This disease touches us all, friends, neighbors, mothers, aunts,” Sebelius said. “One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and no women in America should go without the care they need.”
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) talked at the event about her own breast cancer diagnosis at age 41 after finding a lump during a self-breast exam. She now advocates for the importance of early detection.
The congresswoman also addressed the need to cater cancer care to specific age groups because there are “different experiences and challenges that are unique to younger women."
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) also attended the event, as did cancer survivor Tanya Snyder wife of Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.
“I draw inspiration from patients that have come in contact with this disease," said Dr. Louis Weiner, Lombardi director.
Stacey Ferguson, a high-risk recipient of cancer screenings through the national program, stressed the importance of facilities such as CBCC that offer support and care.
Needed More than Ever
Ferguson has been personally affected by cancer, losing her close loved ones to many forms of progressive cancer.
At CBCC today, she said she understands the “fear factor” that can arise when patients are apprehensive about the screening process.
“Due to the economy today this program is needed more than ever and has given me a fighting chance,” Ferguson said.
Also attending the event recognizing life-saving cancer screening programs were John Seffrin, CEO, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and Christopher W. Hansen, president, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.