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Women's Health

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

"What You Do Matters" is a new call to action for women urged by sanofi-aventis in conjunction with the company's sponsorship of the television and multimedia program Frosted Pink with a Twist. To address results of a recent survey revealing a need for greater education about women's cancers, one of the stars of Frosted Pink with a Twist, 2008 Olympic champion and granddaughter of a breast cancer survivor, Shawn Johnson, urges women of all ages that "What You Do Matters" - to look ahead to the future by getting the facts about their cancer risk today.

Frosted Pink with a Twist is a television special that joins members of the 2008 US Olympic Gymnastics team with Grammy-Award winning music talent to raise awareness of cancers primarily affecting women. Through the combination of music and sport, Frosted Pink with a Twist provides cancer education, encourages dialogue, celebrates survivorship and empowers women to become advocates for their health. Hosted by Olympic Champion Mary Lou Retton, the show will highlight the current All-Around Women's Gymnastics Champion, Shawn Johnson, as well other stars of Men's and Women's US Olympic Gymnastics teams. Paired with champion gymnasts will be icons of song, making for a historical event of sports, entertainment and health awareness. Frosted Pink with a Twist will air nationally on ABC from 4:00PM-6:00PM (ET) on Sunday Oct. 12.

"This cause means a lot to me and my family because when my grandma battled breast cancer 11 years ago, I believe 'what we did mattered' to help her get through it," said Shawn. "Now speaking out about 'What You Do Matters', I feel I can make a difference by urging women of all ages to get the facts on their personal cancer history, share their concerns with their doctors and act now to prepare for the future."

The six types of cancers affecting primarily women are breast, ovarian, uterine, cervical, vulva, and vaginal. In 2008, it is estimated that 260,950 women will be diagnosed, and an estimated 68,970 will die from one of these cancers. Yet, a recent independent survey conducted by Woman's Day magazine of 7,361 women readers found that too few women have all the information they need about women's cancers. Only one out of two women talked to their doctor about cancer risks. Half of respondents wished they knew where to find credible and reliable information about cancer, and just one fifth feel very knowledgeable about risk factors for women's cancers.

"What You Do Matters" is a call to action to inspire women to learn more about their family history of cancer so they can be educated about their risk of developing cancer," said Dr. Howard Burris, Chief Medical Officer, Sarah Cannon Research Institute. "When women are proactive and advocate for themselves, we know that with early detection and improved treatment we can impact their chances for survival. Also, when women have the facts and talk through treatment options with their doctor, family and friends, they know what to expect and go through treatment more easily."

sanofi-aventis has developed an educational Website, www.cancerinfo.net. The site is a patient resource center where women can download educational materials and link to sites of leading cancer organizations to learn more about helping to reduce their risk for cancer.

For more information about Frosted Pink with a Twist and women's cancer risk, visit www.cancerinfo.net, or the campaign Web site at www.frostedpink.org.


© 2008 Health Resources Publishing