September 30, 2013
Chicago - Women often ignore early symptoms of ovarian cancer allowing it to spread undetected, according to Northwestern Medicine physician
The Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation (LSCRF), which raises much-needed dollars for breast cancer research at Northwestern Memorial Hospital —wants to remind everyone in Chicago of the importance of early detection of breast cancer. This is why every October hundreds of Chicago’s most notable landmarks either illuminate or don banners and flags signifying their support of the importance of routine mammograms and breast self-exams as ways to aid detection of breast cancer.
“The Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation has been working with area landmarks to light Chicago pink for more than 11 years,” says Stephanie Lieber, LSCRF’s board chair. “We are humbled and quite grateful that so many of the city’s most recognizable buildings and attractions are supporting us in our effort to remind women about self exams and how identifying this dreadful disease in its earliest stages saves lives.”
Formally called, “Light the Way to Find a Cure”, the campaign centers on visually reminding the public that early detection of breast cancer leads to better outcomes. This year, Willis Tower, John Hancock Building, Merchandise Mart, Soldier Field Stadium with nearly 200 buildings and area attractions have all partnered with LSCRF to go pink. The campaign invites area buildings, landmarks and businesses to participate either through illuminating their structures pink or by donning banners and flags for the month of October.
“We know when breast cancer is caught early chances for survival from the disease can improve,” says William J. Gradishar, MD, FACP, who is the Betsy Bramsen Professor of Breast Oncology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and director, Maggie Daley Center for Women's Cancer Care at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.“By the time there are symptoms, there is a greater likelihood that the cancer is larger and that it has spread beyond the breast. Screening exams with mammography—can help detect cancer when it’s at a smaller stage and still confined to the breast.”
Thousands of women are diagnosed every year, and when detected early, an estimated 96 percent survive the disease. As Gradishar explains, the size of a breast cancer and how far it has spread are some of the most important factors in predicting the outlook for fighting and overcoming this disease. Early detection tests for breast cancer saves thousands of lives each year, and many more lives could be saved if more women were routinely screened.
LSCRF is dedicated to the courageous spirit of Lynn Sage. The Foundation support innovative contributions that promote awareness and understanding, research and the treatment of breast cancer in partnership with Northwestern Memorial and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University. For more information about the Foundation or ways that you can take part, please visit them online at www.lynnsage.org.