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CRFA Presents Frontlines Awards for Breast Cancer Awareness

CRFA Presents Frontlines Awards for Breast Cancer Awareness

WASHINGTON—Times change. Twenty years ago, the word cancer was barely mentioned in the media, and the words cancer and prevention were rarely put together, Carolyn Aldige, founder of the Cancer Research Foundation of America (CRFA), said at the Foundation’s Frontline Awards ceremony. The awards went to four women whose communications activities have been instrumental in raising awareness about breast cancer.

Cathy Hainer, a reporter for USA Today, wrote about her experience with breast cancer in a series of features for her newspaper. She noted upon accepting her award that one of the installments featured a photo of her without hair, the result of chemotherapy.

Although publishing the photo seemed a risky move, it resulted in gratifying reader feedback. “Communicating with readers on a personal level has been my reward for writing the series,” she said.

Eleanor Nealon, the NCI’s director of the Office of Liaison Activities, could not attend, but in remarks delivered on her behalf, she urged the audience to remember the underserved women.

Cokie Roberts, co-host of ABC’s This Week With Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts, shared her personal experiences with breast cancer in her book, We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters. She pointed out that the disease claims 44,000 lives annually—more than all American combat-related deaths from the Vietnam War.

Betty Rollin, an NBC News correspondent, dealt with her breast cancer in her 1976 book, First, You Cry. In the intervening years, she has gained perspective. The female breast is “sexually useful, let’s face it,” she joked. “But, I mean, you don’t walk on it. You don’t hail taxis with it.” She said she realizes now, after battling the initial disease and a relapse, that she is very grateful to be alive.

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