WASHINGTONTimes 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 Foundations
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 NCIs 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 ABCs 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 annuallymore
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, lets face it, she joked. But, I mean, you
dont walk on it. You dont 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.