Welcome to our media room. Here you’ll find press releases to keep you up to date about breast cancer news, events and resources. Our archive, with the most recent announcement at the top, begins here.
Bellingham, Washington – October 1, 2013 – The Breast Milagro, an online resource for breast cancer patient support, information and specialized jewelry, announced today it will donate $5 for each of its Valentina pendants purchased in October to The Young Survivors Coalition (YSC).
The announcement marks the launch of The Breast Milagro’s newly redesigned website and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The Breast Milagro Founder Leslie Jacobson said the decision to support YSC is based in part on its services to an underserved community of breast cancer patients.
“During Breast Cancer Awareness month, we want to highlight the fact that breast cancer strikes women of all ages. Younger women need to be alert to their risk and remain vigilant about breast health,” said Jacobson.
YSC is an international non-profit network of breast cancer survivors and supporters with a focus on the issues and unique concerns of women touched by breast cancer before 40.
Sylvia Bencomo is one such woman.
When she had her first mammogram in 1990 at age 35, the pathologist who analyzed it noted an anomaly. He recommended she have a follow-up mammogram in six months’ time.
However, months later, when Bencomo requested a second mammogram, her concerns were brushed aside. The gynecologist who examined her, relying apparently on standard protocol, told her that mammograms were unnecessary in women younger than 50.
The practice of not screening younger women has been widespread. In fact, in 2009, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) proposed that mammograms be limited to women between the ages of 50 and 74.
According to The Breast Milagro medical advisor Dr. Cary S. Kaufman, that recommendation should now be reconsidered. He cites a recent “failure analysis” study by Blake Cady, MD, professor of surgery (emeritus) at Harvard Medical School.
Cady and his colleagues reviewed information about 609 women who were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between 1990 and 1999 and who ultimately died specifically of breast cancer. Of these women, 71 percent had not been screened within two or more years prior to diagnosis. Remarkably, fifty percent of the deceased were under age 50 when they were diagnosed.
Of these data, Kaufman says, “We have a future concern that less women under 50 will obtain screening which may lead to more breast cancer deaths in women between 40 and 50.”
Bencomo was diagnosed with breast cancer some four years after her first mammogram. A week later, she underwent a radical mastectomy. The cancerous tumor measured almost 2 centimeters.
Fortunately, Bencomo has been a survivor for 19 years. To offer others the support she lacked as a breast cancer patient, she has recently opened The Angel Wellness Boutique in Albuquerque, NM. The shop provides a wide range of specialized products for cancer patients.
But Bencomo’s story doesn’t end here.
She has two adult daughters, Lorena and Monica. Because of their mother’s diagnosis at a young age, each of them sought mammograms shortly after turning 30. And, because of their young ages, each of them was discouraged from having the screening by health care professionals.
A short time after she was told a mammogram was unnecessary, Lorena was diagnosed with stage 3 invasive ductal carcinoma at age 31. This is long before the age at which insurance carriers normally authorize routine mammogram. This is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects mostly younger Hispanic and African-American women.
Kaufman notes the findings of the Cady study showing that half of the women who died were younger women. This is “due to their common development of more aggressive forms of breast cancer and the common lack of screening mammography in that age group," he said.
The Breast Milagro encourages all women to discuss their individual risk factors with their doctors and together develop a breast cancer screening schedule. For more details on The Breast Milagro resources or to see how purchases of jewelry help fund the fight against breast cancer, visit www.thebreastmilagro.com.
To learn more about the inspiration behind the fine jewelry line featuring this new symbol of faith, hope and healing for those affected by breast cancer, visit www.thebreastmilagro.com
To discover professionally screened books, organizations and information on Breast Health visit www. breastmilagro.org
Young survivor, Sylvia Bencomo with her beautiful - and healthy - daughters Lorena (left) and Monica (middle) who together have a compelling story. To help support treatment resources for thousands of women like them. The Breast Milagro is focusing extra funding toward the Young Survivor's Coalition (YSC) in October.