The 6th annual Breast Cancer Awareness Day will be held at the state Capitol on Tuesday, April 29. The educational event is free to the public and provides information on prevention, treatment, support groups and other important topics.
“This has been such a great event the last several years in helping patients and their loved ones learn more about their treatment options and support groups as well as educate others about the importance of early detection through self-exams and regular medical checkups,” said Sen. Jabar Shumate, D-Tulsa. “One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. As a society, we can’t afford to ignore that fact. Instead we need to give our loved ones the tools they need to protect themselves from this awful disease.”
The event will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the 4th floor Rotunda. There will be twenty vendors from around the state with information on detection and prevention as well as treatment options, medical assistance and a variety of other information for patients and survivors.
Soulful Survivors president Saundra McClelland said she hopes the event will help more Oklahomans become survivors rather than statistics.
“It’s estimated that as many as 3,500 Oklahoma women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and more than 500 will lose their lives to this disease, which is often times preventable or treatable if detected early enough,” said McClelland. “This is why events like these are so important. We’re opening people’s eyes to the facts about breast cancer. This is an issue we can’t afford to ignore as it can truly be a matter of life or death.”
This year’s key presenter will be Terry Lynn Arnold, founder and Executive Director of the IBC Network Foundation. The focus of the event will be Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC), a rare and very aggressive invasive disease, generally found in late stages. This type of cancer is called “inflammatory” because the breasts are often swollen, red or “inflamed”. As an IBC survivor, Arnold will share more about the disease and what strides cancer research institutions are making to eradicate this cancer.
This year sponsors include the Professional Firefighters of Oklahoma (PFFO) and Tulsa and Oklahoma City IAFF Locals 157 and 176 with the support of Sen. Jabar Shumate (D-Tulsa), Rep. Kevin Matthews (D-Tulsa), Rep. Anastasia Pittman (D-Oklahoma City), Soulful Survivors, Inc. of Tulsa, Soulful Survivors President Saundra McClelland, and former State Senator and breast cancer survivor Judy Eason McIntyre.
“I hope Oklahomans will wear their pink and come to the Capitol and show their support of breast cancer awareness in our great state,” said Eason McIntyre. “I’m so thankful for all of the organizations that have come together each year to make this a successful event that is saving lives.”