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First Lady leads charge against breast cancer

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 LOUISVILLE – In an effort to increase breast cancer awareness and encourage Kentuckians to get screened, First Lady Jane Beshear promoted October as Breast Cancer Awareness in Month at the University of Louisville’s (UofL) James Graham Brown Cancer Center.

“Every year, more than 2,800 Kentucky women are diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Beshear. “Countless others are affected by knowing someone who has suffered with this disease.  Early detection through regular screenings is the key to survival, and we must make people aware of how to prevent this life-threatening illness. Please join me in taking part in Breast Cancer Awareness Month and encourage someone you know to go get screened.”   

At the event,  Beshear presented a signed proclamation from Governor Steve Beshear declaring October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Kentucky. 

In addition, Mrs. Beshear presented an acclamation recognizing the James Graham Brown Cancer Center for 30 years of exceptional, effective and compassionate approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and research.

“We applaud the First Lady’s leadership in raising breast cancer and mammogram awareness statewide,” said Dr. Donald M. Miller, director of the Brown Cancer Center. “We are proud to partner with Mrs. Beshear in the fight against breast cancer and all cancers that continue to plague Kentuckians.”

Since 1999, the rate of diagnosis of new cases of breast cancer in Kentucky has decreased due to early detection and innovative treatments. As a result, deaths from breast cancer are steadily declining. Breast cancer, however, remains a leading public health concern in the Commonwealth, where it is still the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women.

Beshear continues her efforts to promote breast cancer awareness and prevention through the Horses and Hope initiative. 

In 2008, the First Lady’s office partnered with the Kentucky Cancer Program to create Horses and Hope – a program that offers education, screening and treatment referrals to those in the state’s equine industry. 

Horses and Hope has hosted breast cancer race days at Kentucky racetracks for the past three years and has educated more than half a million race track and horse show fans and approximately 6,000 equine employees. The program has screened more than 350 workers and detected breast cancer in two individuals, both of whom have received treatment.

Horses and Hope’s next event will be to host a health fair at Keeneland on Monday, Oct. 24. 

Additionally, the Kentucky State Capitol dome will be lighted pink some evenings in October, and Capitol Avenue will be lined with pink banners in an effort to bring awareness to employees and visitors throughout the month.

For more information on breast cancer, please contact your health department.