September 2, 2008: New Book Breaks Ground in Addressing Breast Health of Girls and Teens


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Pamela Green 
              Breastcancer.org 
              (610) 642-6550 
              pgreen@breastcancer.org

Taking Care of Your “Girls,” from Breastcancer.org founder and her teen daughter, launches new movement toward breast cancer prevention and breast health awareness among younger women

NEW YORK – September 2, 2008 – A new book by the founder of Breastcancer.org – the #1 online resource for breast health and breast cancer information – and her teenage daughter addresses one of the most confusing and often fearful topics in a girl’s life: her breast development and breast health. In Taking Care of Your “Girls,” acclaimed breast oncologist Dr. Marisa Weiss and her daughter Isabel Friedman cut through all the myths and unreliable information about breasts and breast development. They reveal the real risks and actionable steps girls can take to reduce their risk of getting breast cancer.

As the first and only book of its kind, Taking Care of Your “Girls” represents a key turning point in the conversation about breast care: a movement toward breast cancer prevention and breast health awareness among girls at a much younger age than traditional prevention efforts.

“Breastcancer.org is pioneering this effort through a series of initiatives aimed at girls in particular,” says Dr. Weiss. “We want to reach young women at that critical age when they have so many questions and yet are bombarded with excess, irrelevant, or incorrect information.

“Girls are surrounded by breast cancer messaging geared to adults, but they lack reliable information geared just for them. As a result, we felt compelled to step up and take the leadership position in this area. Our outreach efforts are driven by groundbreaking research and include school programs and an awareness campaign about the environmental influences on breast health.”

The foundation of the book is 2 ½ years of research that Dr. Weiss and Breastcancer.org conducted with more than 3,000 girls (ages 8-18) and mothers all across the U.S. As a woman, doctor, and mother, Dr. Weiss knew that the girls she spoke with would have a lot of questions about breast health and development, but she was struck by many of the findings, including:

  • Over 25% of girls have perceived a normal change in their breasts to be a symptom of breast cancer.
  • Over 20% of girls think breast cancer is caused in part by infection, tanning, drug use, stress, and breast injury or bruising; however, none of these are risk factors.
  • Nearly 75% percent of girls have someone close to them who has had breast cancer.
  • Most girls are worried that someone in their family might get breast cancer.
  • Few girls know how to reduce their risk of breast cancer.

In response to their findings, Dr. Weiss and her daughter set out to separate the myths from the facts, and offer both medical and motherly advice as well as a peer-to-peer perspective. They answer some of the most compelling questions that girls have about their changing bodies, from: “Is there a perfect, correct, or average breast size?” to “Is it safe to use antiperspirants and cell phones?”

“The importance of knowing your ‘girls’ both inside and out has never been more important,” says Dr. Weiss, “and no woman is ever too young to start practicing good breast health.

“During the ten years of breast ‘construction,’ a girl’s food, water, beverages, and air she breathes are the building blocks of her new breast tissue – and lay the foundation of her future breast health.”

Other organizations have joined ranks with Breastcancer.org to support this Prevention Initiative, including Comcast who, with Dr. Weiss, created video-on-demand (VOD) segments for the Comcast Pink Ribbon campaign to air this fall during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“What we want to achieve with this book and other awareness initiatives such as our mother-daughter school assemblies is an earlier dialogue with our girls about this critically important health concern.”

For a link to Breastcancer.org’s video about their outreach to girls, please visit: www.girlsprevention.breastcancer.org.

If you would like to speak with Dr. Weiss, please contact Pamela Green at Breastcancer.org at (610) 642-6550 or pgreen@breastcancer.org.

About the Authors
Dr. Marisa C. Weiss is the president and founder of Breastcancer.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing expert medical information on breast health and breast cancer. She currently practices at Lankenau Hospital in the Philadelphia area, where she serves as the director of Breast Radiation Oncology and the director of Breast Health Outreach.
Her daughter, Isabel Friedman, will start college at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall of 2009. She recently graduated from Friends’ Central School in the Philadelphia area and was an assistant teacher at the Children’s School of Science in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
About Taking Care of Your “Girls”
by Marisa C. Weiss, M.D., and Isabel Friedman
A Three Rivers Press Paperback Original
September 2, 2008 * Pages: 256
Price: $15.95 * ISBN: 978-0-307-40696-5
www.TakingCareofYourGirls.com
About Breastcancer.org
Breastcancer.org is the #1 source of medical information and support, dedicated to providing more than 5,000 pages of medically vetted information on breast health and breast cancer. A non-profit organization, Breastcancer.org serves more than 8 million visitors each year.
About the Comcast Pink Ribbon campaign
For the second year in a row, Breastcancer.org is partnering with Comcast on the Pink Ribbon campaign, to create a dedicated VOD (video-on-demand) and online initiative which brings together educational and inspirational content for all women, girls, and their loved ones to watch in the comfort of their own home.

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