March 31, 1994
Vol. 13, No. 14

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    'Challengeof Breast Cancer' summit April 8

    The University of Chicago Cancer Research Center (UCCRC) will host The Challenge of Breast Cancer -- a federally sponsored "summit meeting" to educate community, business and health-care leaders about breast cancer -- on Friday, April 8, at the Forum/Inter-Continental Hotel downtown. The daylong summit, one of 16 such events scheduled throughout the United States this year, is being presented in collaboration with the Y-ME National Organization for Breast Cancer Information and Support.

    The meeting is designed to bring together civic, corporate and public-health leaders in a cooperative effort to extend into the community programs for breast-cancer education and screening. The summit will stress the importance of bringing the tools of prevention and early detection to groups of women who, due to lack of information or access, are more likely to be diagnosed later in the course of their disease and consequently have a lower survival rate.

    Speakers will include physicians and researchers as well as representatives from large and small businesses, insurance companies, community agencies, the Chicago Department of Health and the media.

    Those who attend the summit will be encouraged to sponsor breast-cancer education and screening activities and programs in their communities and will receive "how-to" information for implementing such programs.

    "The summits are a valuable tool for bringing the latest information about breast-cancer detection and treatment to community leaders and, through them, to women throughout the state," said Richard Schilsky, Professor in Medicine and Director of the UCCRC. "The program is also a wonderful example of the sort of collaboration among federal, regional and local agencies that is necessary to reach women throughout Illinois, including women of rural and urban communities and of diverse ethnic backgrounds."

    The program of regional breast-cancer summits, which began in 1992, is the result of a partnership between the National Cancer Institute and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, with additional support from the General Mills Foundation. Support for the Illinois summit is also provided by Amgen and Bristol-Myers Squibb. This will be the first of the summits to be held in Illinois.

    Approximately 8,700 new cases of breast cancer and 2,000 deaths due to breast cancer were reported in Illinois in 1993. These figures have risen steadily as the population of the state has aged, and the increase is expected to continue.