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PA Commission for Women Kicks Off Breast Cancer Awareness Month With Pink Fountain Tour

Tuesday, September 30, 2008 General News J E 4
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Fountains in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Erie to Go Pink in October



HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Three of Pennsylvania's most notable fountains will turn pink as the Pennsylvania Commission for Women kicks-off Breast Cancer Awareness Month in honor of the women and families who have so valiantly fought the disease.



The commission is coordinating the pink fountains as a reminder and as a tool to educate the public on the disease.



"Breast cancer is the leading cancer among Pennsylvania women," said Leslie Stiles, the commission's executive director. "Until we reverse that trend, we must continue to raise awareness about breast cancer; educate women about breast health; and support the women and families who are living with a breast cancer diagnosis."



The three fountain events held in advance of October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month will feature remarks from Pennsylvanians whose lives have been touched by breast cancer.



The fountain outside of the Capitol's East Wing in Harrisburg was the first to turn pink this week. During a ceremony today, Stiles was joined by Speaker of the House Dennis M. O'Brien; Pat Halpin Murphy, president and founder, Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition; and Department of General Services Secretary James Creedon.



Tomorrow, the Point State Park fountain in Pittsburgh and the Perry Square fountain in Erie will turn pink at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.



Speakers at the Pittsburgh event will include Stiles; Bonnie Haar, vice president of the southwestern Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition; Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato; Kathy Purcell, executive director, Susan G. Koman, Pittsburgh; and Dr. Shannon Puhalla, University of Pittsburgh Physicians Division of Hematology/Oncology.



Stiles, Purcell and Erie Mayor Joseph E. Sinnott, as well as breast cancer survivors from the Erie area, will speak at the 4 p.m. event.



"The pink fountains inspire deeply emotional reactions," said Stiles. "These events are opportunities to communicate new treatment options, to talk about the value of early detection and, most importantly, to remind people there is hope. There are still women who we need to reach -- women who must be reminded to get that annual mammogram and to do their monthly breast self exam."



Tips on how to reduce the risk of breast cancer include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, knowing family history, understanding the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy, limiting alcohol intake, and getting regular breast cancer screening whether through monthly self examinations or an annual mammogram.



Signs that a woman -- or a man -- may have breast cancer include a new lump, swelling, pain, irritation of the breast skin or nipple area, change in size or shape, or a nipple discharge other than milk.



The Pennsylvania Commission for Women's mission is to identify and advance the diverse needs and interests of the state's women and girls; to inform, educate and advocate for its constituents; and to provide opportunities to empower women and girls to reach their highest potential.



CONTACT: Anne C. Bale

(717) 787-8128



SOURCE Pennsylvania Commission for Women
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