NASSAU, Bahamas–(BUSINESS WIRE)– This weekend, breast cancer survivors and supporters will walk, run and advocate for breast cancer programs for the women of the Bahamas as more than 100 delegates join thousands of others for a weekend of breast cancer advocacy, awareness and support.
More than 100 breast cancer advocates are joining Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, in a mission trip to the Bahamas to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer programs there. Komen is partnering with The Links, Incorporated, a volunteer service organization of women committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans.
Mission delegates will engage with Bahamian government and health officials, breast health experts, advocates and executive leadership from Komen and The Links, including a medical roundtable and town hall meeting. The activities culminate in not one, but two, race events for breast cancer programs.
“The number of Bahamian women dying from breast cancer because of the lack of awareness and lack of access to care is unacceptable,” said Elizabeth Thompson, president of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “The entire Komen family, alongside our partners, are working together to address these issues and save lives here in the Bahamas and around the world through our global outreach programs.”
In the Bahamas, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, with health officials estimating 300-500 new cases annually. Some 23 percent of Bahamian women diagnosed with breast cancer carry the BRCA1 gene mutation, which puts a woman at greater risk for breast cancer. Nearly half of the Bahamian women diagnosed with breast cancer are under age 50, and nearly half of those are diagnosed at stage 3 of the disease. Studies also show that an alarming 43 percent of the women who succumb to the deadly disease are under age 50 at the time of death.
The first-ever Susan G. Komen Bahamas Race for the Cure® will take place on Paradise Island Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011 with an expected 1,500 runners and walkers. Komen is also the charity beneficiary of the Sunshine Insurance Marathon Bahamas full marathon, half-marathon and six-person relay events on Junkanoo Beach Jan. 16. In addition to raising funds, these events serve to break down stigmas and cultural barriers so that those affected by breast cancer are able to speak openly about the disease and seek the care they need.
“This is an initiative that was near and dear to me as U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas. And, of course, the fight against breast cancer remains personally meaningful to me as the husband of a breast cancer survivor,” said Ned L. Siegel, former U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas, who unveiled the Bahamas Breast Cancer Initiative in 2008 to change the status quo and create greater awareness about the importance of early detection in saving lives. Ambassador Siegel and Mrs. Stephanie Siegel, a breast cancer survivor and board member for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Advocacy Alliance, will be present in Nassau for Komen’s mission delegation this weekend.
Proceeds from the events support the Bahamas Breast Cancer Initiative, Cancer Society of The Bahamas, Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group and Komen’s Circle of Promise. For more information about this weekend’s events in The Bahamas, visit www.komen.org/bahamas.
About Susan G. Komen for the Cure®
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, we have invested $1.9 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.