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The Avon Foundation Breast Care Fund has awarded a $50,000 one-year grant to the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s ENCOREplus Program to increase awareness of the life-saving benefits of early detection of breast cancer. It is the 16th year that the program has received funding from the Avon Foundation to support its work on this important health issue and in recognition of the excellence of the program.

The ENCOREplus Program is a community-based outreach program that provides education, screening and support services. Since 1994, the program has reached more than 86,000 women with information about the importance of early detection of breast cancer and has referred over 8,100 women for mammograms and clinical breast exams.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in the U.S., and the leading single cause of death overall in women between the ages of 40 and 55. According to the American Cancer Society, 9,380 new cases of breast cancer will be detected in Pennsylvania this year and 2,070 lives will be lost. Nationwide, there is a new diagnosis every three minutes and a death from breast cancer every 14 minutes. While advances have been made in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure, early detection still affords the best opportunity for successful treatment. Programs such as ENCOREplus help ensure that all women have access to early detection information and options, even poor and medically underserved women.

Since 2000, the Avon Foundation Breast Care Fund has distributed 1,302 grants to community-based breast health programs across the United States.

“We are proud that the Avon Foundation for Women shares our mission and has chosen to support our program,” said Magdeline E. Jensen, CEO, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh. “With these funds we will be able to reach out to more women and link them to vital early detection screenings for breast cancer.”

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