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Learning more about breast cancer

Sept. 13, 2006

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University will play host to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's national educational tour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 20.

The tour, On the Way to the Cure--Komen on the Go, is open to the public and will be staged in the parking lot in front of Sangren Hall on the main campus.

The event will feature a huge, pink trailer that converts into an interactive learning center, allowing individuals to obtain information about steps they can take to detect and deal with breast cancer. It also will include a large "graffiti wall," on which individuals may share memories or pledge their support in the cause to end breast cancer.

The Komen on the Go tour is designed to heighten awareness of breast health and breast cancer and deepen commitment to practical, everyday health habits that could save lives. The nine-week, 36-stop tour is part of the Komen Foundation's efforts to engage all generations in the fight against breast cancer.

Linda Lumley, coordinator of gender and health education in WMU's Sindecuse Health Center, says the Komen Foundation estimates that in the United States this year, more than 210,000 women--one every three minutes--and 1,600 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

"The Komen on the Go tour brings vital information about breast cancer to people right where they live, work, study and play," Lumley says. "We encourage women and men to stop by and learn more about a disease that affects nearly all of us in one way or another."

The trailer is outfitted with computer kiosks and carries a wealth of materials related to breast cancer, including breast self-examination guides, effective co-survivor tips, and information about regional resources as well as local opportunities for involvement in breast health awareness activities.

Graffiti walls have been constructed at other college and university stops on the Komen on the Go tour.

"WMU's wall will remain on the campus as a poignant reminder of the role each of us plays in eradicating breast cancer as a life-threatening disease," Lumley says.

She also notes that WMU will have health care professionals from the Sindecuse Health Center on hand to answer questions and share their expertise. In addition, prizes will be given away.

Four representatives of the Komen Foundation will stage the event with the assistance of WMU staff and student volunteers. The WMU Panhellenic community, including eight sororities, is providing more than 25 volunteers to help throughout the day.

The Komen Foundation is an international organization fighting to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease. It funds research; supports education, screening and treatment projects in communities around the world; and alerts millions of women and men that early detection is one of the most critical factors in surviving breast cancer.

For tour details, contact Linda Lumley at linda.lumley@wmich.edu or (269) 387-2995. For more information about the Komen Foundation, visit www.komen.org.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
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