DALLASThe Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is
encouraging women and their physicians to
REMEMBER a new breast health awareness campaign. The
Foundations health education initiative adds Risk Evaluation
to the traditional three-part program of Mammography Exam, Monthly
Breast Exam, and Regular checkups, resulting in the
Adding a personal risk evaluation to a regular physical will help
women and their doctors consider risk factors in making decisions
about breast health, Nancy Brinker, founding chairman of the Komen
Foundation, said at a news conference announcing the campaign.
The REMEMBER education campaign includes the Risk Disk, a
computer program for doctors to prompt risk evaluation questions; a
series of TV, radio, and print ads; and educational brochures that
describe the four REMEMBER steps for breast health. It is funded by a
grant from Zeneca Pharmaceuticals.
Judy Garber, MD, MPH, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, said it is
important that women and physicians not over- or underestimate breast
cancer risks . The computer program asks questions related to
predictors of cancer, Dr. Garber said, The results are not absolute,
she said, and physicians are being trained in how to interpret risk
levels. The computer model may be more important for women who are at
increased risk, she noted.
The yes/no evaluation questions consider the following risk factors:
increasing age; having a mother, sister, or daughter with breast
cancer; having a breast biopsy showing abnormal cells; beginning
first menstruation before age 12; having a first child after age 30
or having no children.
Women found to have a higher risk for breast cancer can then discuss
with their physician possible ways to reduce it, Dr. Garber said. The
evaluation gives them both another opportunity to discuss breast
health, she added.
REMEMBER brochures are available by calling the Foundations
helpline at 1-800-IM-AWARE (1-800-462-9273).