Tuesday, October 03, 2006

After 20-Plus Years of Breast Cancer 'Awareness,' New Poll Finds Americans Remain in the Dark About the Basic Facts

10/3/2006 10:00:00 AM


To: National Desk, Health and Lifestyles Reporter

Contact: Rebecca Farmer of Breast Cancer Action, 415-243-9301, ext. 16 or rfarmer@bcaction.org

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 3 /U.S. Newswire/ -- A new poll commissioned by Breast Cancer Action (BCA), a national grassroots education and advocacy organization, finds that, despite two decades of "awareness," Americans remain in the dark about some of the most basic facts of breast cancer. However, the poll also shows that Americans do know that their doctors do not have the tools they need to answer a woman's most basic questions upon diagnosis: "Will I die from this" and "What should I do next?"

Barbara Brenner, BCA executive director who has had breast cancer twice, states, "In those terrifying moments after a diagnosis, the first things women want to know is whether their breast cancer will be fatal and what they should do to improve their chances that it won't be. Women deserve answers-and we must all demand more focused research to get them. BCA's Answers Wanted campaign is about moving toward those answers."

Key poll findings include:

-- Most Americans (74%) mistakenly think breast cancer that remains restricted to the breast can be fatal.

-- The majority of Americans (58%) believe some women may be over-treated for breast cancer.

-- Most Americans (65%) know that not all forms of breast cancer require surgery plus chemotherapy or radiation.

-- However, the majority (62%) of Americans know that doctors cannot determine if breast cancer will spread until it already has.

"Despite the billions of dollars invested in breast cancer research, efforts have so far failed to produce answers to these fundamental questions," says Brenner. "We need research focused on finding answers that would allow doctors to predict the spread of breast cancer, determine whether it will become life threatening, and decide the best course of treatment for each woman."

This October, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, BCA invites the public to join them in moving beyond "awareness" to action. The group launched Answers Wanted ( http://www.bcaction.org/AnswersWanted ), a multi-year public education campaign, part of which includes an online pop quiz for people to educate themselves about the facts of the disease. BCA is also calling upon Senate and House subcommittees on health to prioritize a plan for future breast cancer research that will give doctors the tools they need to determine upon diagnosis if breast cancer will spread.

http://www.usnewswire.com/

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/© 2006 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/

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