October 17, 2003

First Breast Cancer Awareness Festival For Young Women in San Diego

Breastival 2003 to be held October 28 at University of San Diego

Breast cancer is a concern for women of all ages - including young women 19-39 - and reaching that age group is the motivation behind Breastival 2003, a first-of-its-kind event for San Diego.

Modeled after a similar event at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center in Baltimore, The Scripps Polster Breast Care Center, through its Young Women’s Breast Health Program, decided to create Breastival 2003 for San Diego women.

  “The true mission and goal of the Breastival is to increase the awareness of the incidence of breast cancer in young women ages 19-39 and to promote breast health and the importance of early detection and diagnosis as a method of prevention,” said Michele Ben-nett, Education Coordinator at the Scripps Poster Breast Care Center.  “While the focus is educational and the topic is serious, we also wanted to make it a fun event and we believe we’ve done that with our festival theme.”

The activities will take place on the University of San Diego campus, directly in front of the Student Union, and feature educational seminars throughout the day along with a health fair offering games, contests and gifts. Upon arrival, those attending will receive a passport and begin circulating the area. The challenge is to then answer a question about breast cancer or breast health in order to receive a stamp on the passport and move on through the program. Those who collect all the passport stamps may enter a raffle to win one of five $1,000 scholarships and other donated prizes. Throughout the day, physicians, breast health specialists and young breast cancer survivors will present information to the students focusing on specific breast education topics such as facts on breast augmentation, breast cancer facts and figures, young breast cancer survivor stories and genetics.

The Young Women’s Breast Health Program was launched on October 7, 2002 at San Diego State University’s Alpha Pi Sorority to raise awareness among this little recognized, but at-risk population of young women 19-39. While many may think breast cancer is only a concern for women age 40 and older, the statistics prove otherwise. In fact, the number one cancer diagnosis for young women is breast cancer and, more importantly, the leading cause of death from cancer is breast cancer for this age group. Each year, 10,000 women between 19 and 39 will be diagnosed and 1,500 will die. 

The Young Women’s Breast Health Program at Scripps Polster Breast Care Center, on the Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla campus, is the first of its kind in California, offering information on breast health, breast cancer awareness, breast self exams and genetic risk. By partnering with local university health clinics, corporations, cultural clubs, sororities and various women’s groups, The Young Women’s Breast Health Program is reaching young women across San Diego County.

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