On the heels of October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, legislators are often looking for ways to beat the cancer before it has a chance to take over the patient’s body…with awareness. Capitol Hill was recently the host of a congressional reception as a move to garner attention for the EARLY Act, an attempt to spread breast cancer information and prevention to young women.
Although breast cancer affects men and women alike—with 35,000 cases affecting women under the age of 50—most people think they do not have to worry about breast cancer until well into middle age, which is why testing for breast cancer among young adults has never been a priority, until now. NeoMatrix and its Chair of the Clinical Advisory Panel is taking the forefront on the campaign to get the EARLY Act into effect and is dedicated to providing information and resources about the HALO Breast Pap Test.
Kathryn Tunstall, NeoMatrix’s Chair, has battled cancer twice and took a leadership role in this cause by creating the EARLY Act website and explaining why early detection is crucial to living cancer-free: “I was able to survive and thrive after breast cancer, thanks to excellent care and advances in detection and treatment.” Tunstall continued by saying that both of these websites offer resources needed to keep young women out of the danger zone, “If young women know their breast cancer risk and demand proper screening, this will ultimately change the equation of breast cancer. We can reduce the terrible toll this disease takes on women and families.”
The EARLY Act strives to fund education ($9 million over 5 years) for women under the age of 45 on the importance of testing, breast cancer risks, and regular screenings. This act would also help young women in need who are already diagnosed. National breast cancer organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation as well as a huge following in the House of Representatives and the Senate has helped the EARLY Act become reality.
By Lara Endreszl
Published: Sunday, 11 October 2009
President of the American Society of Breast Disease, Dr. Gail Lebovic, sees the high volume of support as a good sign, “During my time as a breast surgeon, we have seen advances in breast cancer risk assessment such as HALO, in detection through digital mammography, and in the development of much better surgical treatments and breast reconstruction. The EARLY Act would make many more women aware of these advances and how they can benefit from them….I can’t imagine why anyone would be against this legislation.”
The HALO Breast Pap Test, is an alternative form of testing breast cancer risk, has a low-cost and is a lot less uncomfortable than a standard mammogram—even though they are still recommended by doctors. With 70 percent of women being diagnosed with breast cancer after having no identifiable risk factors and one out of every 8 women contracting breast cancer in their lifetime, now is the time for better, safer, and more accurate tests for earlier detection. At five minutes total test time, this noninvasive test determines a patient’s risk for developing the disease over time by using heated massaging breast cups to collect nipple fluid. HALO is safe and can be repeated over and over again with no side effects. By helping to find smaller, low-stage tumors, HALO could be the angel to breast cancer’s devil. As the first completely automated testing device, HALO may revolutionize the way doctors, patients, and families look at breast cancer detection and how women look at their breasts.
Check out the information on the EARLY Act and HALO for yourself and be hopeful that early detection and new, exciting technology could be the stepping stones to a cure keeping breast cancer off our chests for good.