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Press Release

East Bay County to Celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month With Free Breast Exams

September 16, 2003

Health agencies in the East Bay are teaming up to provide free breast cancer screening for women throughout Contra Costa County.

October is Cancer Awareness Month and the Women's Cancer Resource Center, Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, the American Cancer Society, the Wellness Community, and the Cancer Center will provide three breast cancer awareness fairs throughout Contra Costa County. The fairs will provide cancer and cancer prevention information, clinical breast exams and mammography. The fairs are scheduled as follows, Monday October 6 at the Pittsburg Health Center from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday October 21 at the Martinez Health Center from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; and Thursday October 16 at the Richmond Health Center from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Registration is not required. More detailed information is available online at

"Breast cancer is now the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the US," said Marianne Bunce, Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, "Women need to understand the importance of self exams and know that early detection can save lives."

According to Bunce, mammography is not a form of prevention, but it is the best way to detect breast cancer in its earliest and most preventable stage. Persons with no health coverage are welcome to attend.

"All women are at risk whether or not there is a history of the disease in the family. Heredity accounts for less than ten percent of all breast cancers," said Bunce.

Breast cancer rates are highest in industrialized countries and it is estimated that 180,000 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and 40,000 will die from the disease.

"Breast cancer can be deadly, but the good news is that if tumors are detected early either by self-exam or mammography and if followed by treatment, chances of survival are higher. That is why it is important for women to take a more active role in their breast health," said Bunce.

Mammography is recommended yearly for those fifty and over, once to twice a year for those 40 to 49 and younger women should get a clinical breast examination every one to three years. For more information visit Contra Costa Regional Medical Center at

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Press Contact
  • Marianne Bunce
  • 925-370-5822