The rates of breast cancer among women under the age of 40 have increased significantly over the last two decades. Younger women typically face greater challenges with this disease than women over 50, partly because early diagnosis is less common among younger women and most cases among this population are not detected until the cancer has progressed to a more advanced stage. Even more troubling, young women with breast cancer often have a much more aggressive form of the disease to begin with, and tragically, the survival rates are statistically lower.

 

As breast cancer rates continue to rise among this increasingly vulnerable population, the number of support networks and education services dedicated to increasing awareness and improving diagnosis and treatment options has likewise grown.

 

Young Women’s Breast Health Day September 7th, 2011

One organization that has emerged over the last several years is the Tigerlily Foundation. Founded by cancer survivor Maimah Karmo, who was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer at the age of 32, the Tigerlily Foundation is dedicated to empowering and supporting young women with breast cancer through advocacy, education and hands-on services.

 

One of Tigerlily’s main events, held on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., is called The Annual Young Women’s Breast Health Day on Capitol Hill and Congressional Reception.  This event is aimed at bringing together medical experts and industry leaders, members of Congress, media personalities and young breast cancer survivors to help raise awareness and collaborate on solutions to the unique problems facing young women with breast cancer today.

 

I am honored to be the keynote speaker for this year’s event and will share the stage with prominent leaders from the American Cancer Society, Congress and other passionate supporters dedicated to preventing and fighting breast cancer and improving patients’ quality of life.

 

Important Role for Integrative Cancer Care

The fact that this foundation has chosen me as an integrative physician to be the keynote speaker for such a congressional event is monumental. It represents a potential shift forward in the mainstream cancer treatment model, from a conventional ‘one size fits all’ treatment approach to a more holistic, wellness and individual-centered approach.

 

Such a shift offers a strong focus on healthy prevention methods and integrative treatment protocols, which combine traditional and natural therapies together with Western medical modalities. In my experience as an integrative cancer physician, the strategic combination of treatments drawn from diverse medical systems, together with a central focus on the patient’s health and vitality, offers the greatest chances for a positive clinical outcome. I am excited to present this model at the Tigerlily Foundation’s event and help raise awareness about powerful prevention options and strategic integrative approaches that can make a difference for women of all ages with breast cancer, before, during and after treatment. This year’s event will be held at the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, September 7th from 5 to 8 PM. For more information about this event, visit http://tinyurl.com/3qabmwd.

 

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