USCM Honored for the Mayors' Campaign Against Breast Cancer
By Crystal D. Swann and Carol Moody Becker
October 21, 2002
A leading African-American organization, the Breast Cancer Resource Committee (BCRC), has given its 2002 advocacy award to the U. S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) for its effectiveness in raising awareness of the special risk that African American women face in coping with breast cancer.
Virginia Beach Mayor Meyera Oberndorf accepted the Belva B. Brissett Breast Cancer Advocacy Award on behalf of the Conference of Mayors during BCRC's annual symposium held at the Washington Hilton on October 4. In her acceptance remarks, Mayor Oberndorf noted the emphasis that BCRC and USCM place upon the special needs of uninsured and underinsured women for mammography and the disparity in outcome for African-American women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.
"Breast cancer mortality rates have recently experienced their largest decline. Yet death rates among African-American women are 25 percent higher than among white women..." stated Mayor Oberndorf. Some experts blame the fact that African American women are often diagnosed at later stages of their cancers and that limited access, limited awareness of early detection, and socio-economic factors have contributed to this disturbing disparity.
"For the past five years, close to 300 campaign mayors have promoted the need for early detection and publicized the availability of free CDC-supported mammography for eligible women. Emphasizing outreach to the underserved and minorities, the Mayors- Campaign Against Breast Cancer has a special focus upon African American women." stated Mayor Oberndorf.
BCRC was founded in 1989 by Zora Kramer Brown, a fourth-generation breast cancer survivor. She took this action in response to the immense need in the African American community for: (1) increased education and understanding about breast cancer risks; (2) expansion of screening and early detection; and (3) more facts about treatment options. For additional information, please contact Ms. Brown at: 202-463-8040 or firstname.lastname@example.org.