Monday, March 23, 2009

Being the "breast" we can: Cancer survivor, Congresswoman Schultz to launch the "EARLY Act"

“Some people might say I was lucky… I found my tumor early because of knowledge and awareness…We need to ensure that every young woman in America can rely on more than luck. Their survival depends on it."

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz during her statement about her recent personal challenge with breast cancer on March 23, 2009.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is…...
• The youngest women elected to the Florida State House of Representatives (first elected at the age of 26)
• The 24th Most Powerful member of the U.S. House of Representatives according to the 2008 "Power Rankings"
• A mother of 3 young children, and
• A breast cancer survivor at the age of 40

Although only 5% of all breast cancer is found in women under the age of 40 (American Cancer Society), the recent news that Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, age 40, survived breast cancer, reminds all young women that it’s never too early to begin early detection. Performing a monthly self-breast exam and talking to your doctor about your family history are the first steps to “knowing your body”, and being most prepared to detect breast cancer in its early stages.

To facilitate awareness of early detection of breast cancer among women ages 15-39, Congresswoman Schultz will be introducing the “EARLY Act”, and I encourage you to keep your eyes open to find ways to support her effort. in response to her motives for the “Early Act”, Congresswoman Schultz remarks to the Miami Herald, 'I wanted to be able to not just stand up and say, `I'm a breast cancer survivor.' I wanted to find a gap and try to fill it.”

• Breast cancer incidence in women in the United States is 1 in 8 (about 13%).
• About 90% of breast cancers are due not to heredity, but to genetic abnormalities that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general.
• About 40,480 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2008 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1990. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.
• As of 2008, there are about 2.5 million women in the U.S. who have survived breast cancer

Resources for more information on Breast Cancer:
Susan G. Koman:
-Breast Cancer Fact Sheet for Young Women:
-Breast self-exam (BSE) guide:
American Cancer Society:

Information on Congresswoman Schultz:

Wasserman Schultz To Pitch Breast Healt Bill
Wasserman Schultz Statement On Cancer Awareness

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