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Race Update: NW has the highest rates of breast cancer

September 11, 2008

By Erika Weisensee, Oregon Women’s Report

A few years ago, my aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately, it was caught early (in a routine mammogram). Today, she is cancer free, a vibrant mother and grandmother, a sister, aunt and friend to many. She has taught her family, particularly us women, about the need for regular self and clinical exams. She also taught us that regular mammograms save lives. I know many other people who are personally affected by breast cancer. The odds are, so do you. Oregon and Washington have the highest rates of breast cancer in the nation and no one knows why, according to Portland Race For The Cure spokesperson Mary Ellen Glynn.

When an estimated 50,000 people take to Portland’s streets on race day – Sunday, September 21st, 2008 – they will be celebrating with survivors, they will be honoring those who lost their battles, and they will be racing to find a cure.

According to Glynn, 75 percent of funds raised through Portland’s race stay right here in the Northwest, helping to fund awareness, mammograms, and even transportation for women in rural areas who need treatment. The other 25 percent goes to Komen National for research, not for administrative costs.

Portland’s Race For The Cure, the largest Komen race on the West Coast, is actually a series of activities taking place the weekend of September 19 – 21st. Events will include a timed race, a walk, a Health Expo at the Oregon Convention Center, live entertainment and more.

You still have time to participate. You can register ahead of time at or register in person the day of the race at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, beginning at 6:30 a.m. Join the cause and help save lives!


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Discuss this article

Evergreen September 11, 2008

The NW cancer rate is shocking. I feel unnerved that there is no explanation. Although seeing the massive participation at the race does re-affirm my hope in Oregonians and our ability to win this fight.

Elaine September 11, 2008

Breast cancer has touched in some way all of us. It is a problem we can not ignore especially since Washington and Oregon have the highest rates of breast cancer.

Rach September 11, 2008

I had no idea that the rates were higher in the NW … and no reason why? That is scary! Self-examinations are very important!!! Glad there are so many Oregonians involved.

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