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Breast Cancer Awareness

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Avon Breast Health Outreach Program awards grant for Breast Cancer Awareness Program to Caring Connections

BANGOR The Avon Breast Health Outreach Program has awarded a $19,000 one-year grant to Caring Connections, a cooperative women's health program between the Bangor Y and Eastern Maine Medical Center, to increase awareness of the life-saving benefits of early detection of breast cancer. It is the seventh year that the program has received funding from the Avon Foundation for Women to support its work on this important health issue and in recognition of the program's excellence.

The Caring Connections breast health program will educate women in eastern Maine and refer them to free clinical breast exams and mammograms. This vital program will also assist women with overcoming other barriers to receiving health services.

Since December of 1996, Caring Connections has reached tens of thousands of women with information about the importance of early detection of breast cancer and has referred over 1,300 women for mammograms and clinical breast exams. Over 3,150 screenings have been conducted through the Caring Connections program. Should further diagnostic tests or treatment of breast cancer be necessary, Eastern Maine Medical Center has made the commitment to cover all of its own costs in the provision of these services when needed.

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for U.S. women between the ages of 20 and 59. According to the American Cancer Society, 1713 new cases of breast cancer will be detected in Maine this year and 170 lives will be lost. Nationwide, there is a new diagnosis every three minutes and a death from breast cancer every 14 minutes. While advances have been made in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure, early detection still affords the best opportunity for successful treatment. Programs such as Caring Connections help ensure that all women have access to early detection information and options, even poor and medically underserved women.

'We are proud that the Avon Foundation for Women shares our mission and has chosen to support our program. With these funds we will be able to reach out to more women and eliminate the barriers they may face when seeking these life-saving tests,' said Suzanne Brunner, the director of Caring Connections.

Since 1993, the Avon Foundation has awarded more than 1,550 grants to community-based breast health programs across the United States, including Caring Connections. These programs are dedicated to educating underserved women about breast cancer and linking them to early detection screening services.

The Avon Foundation for Women, an accredited 501(c)(3) public charity, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women and today is the world's largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women. The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, which observes its 20th anniversary in 2012, has placed Avon at the forefront of the fight against breast cancer; today, Avon is the leading corporate supporter of the cause globally. In the 20 years since the Crusade's launch, Avon breast cancer programs in 58 countries have donated more than $740 million for research and advancing access to care, regardless of a person's ability to pay. Avon raises funds for the Crusade through the sale of Avon 'Pink Ribbon' products, and through events and walks, such as the U.S. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer series, which is the Foundation's largest fund-raising source.

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