This weekend's Blogalicious was the exhilarating whirlwind that most conferences are but on Sunday I had the pleasure of introducing Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer and executive vice president of the American Cancer Society (ACS).
Dr. Brawley's keynote came during a month where the world is turning pink in honor of breast cancer but his speech addressed more than just breast cancer as he talked about cancer prevention, early detection, and quality treatment through cancer research and education.
In his Blogalicious keynote, Dr. Brawley said that 765,870 cancer deaths were averted between 1991-2006. It's estimated that 57,000 Americans didn't die of breast cancer. This was due to screening, early detection, and aggressive treatment. It's also estimated that the prevalence of mammogram screening was 45-50% where as the prevalence now is 60%. If all women were screened and got good treatment, 450,000 women would still die over the next 10 years with our current screening and treatment technologies.
"Mammography sucks…It isn't the greatest test. We need to support a scientific study to find a better test...We need something that is much better…They should still be used but they need to get better. Find better tests, support better treatment," said Dr. Brawley.
He also encouraged women to be self aware and know their bodies well enough to know to go to their doctor when they find something that needs to be evaluated.
While breast cancer may be on everyone's minds during October, Dr. Brawley didn't limit his speech to breast cancer. He talked about research and prevention for cervical cancer and prostate cancer and concluded by urging people to get involved and spread the word through the American Cancer Society's new social media campaigns.
This year ACS embraced social media to mobilize the online community to help others stay well and get well, find cures, and fight back. ACS launched MoreBirthdays.com that includes buttons to post on websites and a blog whose focus is on everything "birthday", from party tips to celebrity birthdays.
The newest part of the site allows users to send birthday wishes via custom e-cards featuring artwork generously donated by famous artists like Eric Carle. Music lovers will enjoy happy birthday being sung to them by musicians such as Justin Bieber, Aaron Neville, Maroon 5, DEVO or other musicians dedicated to fighting cancer.
As a lover of social media, it has been very exciting for me to be involved with the ACS as they embrace social media and mobilize the online community around their new campaigns but there are also other ways to get involved not only during the month of October, but throughout the year.
While you can wear pink and buy pink products (remember that very little money actually goes towards cancer research), it is more effective to donate to trusted organizations like the American Cancer Society where all funds support the mission of saving lives and eliminating the suffering from cancer.
If you want to mobilize friends to spread awareness about cancer prevention, early detection, and quality treatment through cancer research and education, visit these American Cancer Society sites:
- Choose You encourages women to commit to put their health first.
- More Birthdays helps people stay well (prevent cancer), get well (help for cancer patients), find cures (research and fundraising) and fight back (advocacy).
- Volunteer and access accurate information about cancer at www.cancer.org
Above photo by Leticia: Pictured left to right: Renee J. Ross of Cutie Booty Cakes and fellow Blogger Advisory Council Member, Dr. Otis Brawley, Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society, and Leticia.
Leticia volunteers on the American Cancer Society's Blogger Advisory Council. She serves as a family internet safety and security expert on BitMoms.com where she's dedicated to keeping families safe online. Leticia also writes about technology for families at Tech Savvy Mama and can always be found on Twitter at @TechSavvyMama.