Places of worship join fight against breast cancer

Places of worship join fight against breast cancer Places of worship across the state are being invited to participate in the fight against breast cancer on Mother's Day, May 11, as part of the second anniversary celebration of "Let the Bells Ring for Moms" � 2003.

This faith-based breast cancer awareness campaign is being organized by the South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care, a local non-profit health care quality improvement organization.

Increasing breast cancer awareness is an act of love. Over 500 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone in South Dakota. An estimated 100 families will lose a woman they love to the disease.

"Many of these deaths can be prevented by educating women about the early detection of breast cancer through mammograms," said Gerald Tracy, M.D., the Foundation's Medical Director.

The "Let the Bells Ring for Moms" program asks places of worship to ring their church bells or choir bells for one minute in honor of mothers and as a symbolic gesture of support: 1) for women who have survived; 2) for women still fighting the disease; 3) for women to recognize the importance of an annual mammogram; and 4) for women to know they are not alone.

This event is an opportunity to remember that breast cancer is not just a woman's battle, but a family matter and if we go one step further, a concern of the entire community.

"That's where a woman's faith community comes in," said Dr. Tracy. The participation of South Dakota's faith communities in this special event can impact so many women's lives.

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