Two-time survivor is national consumer advocate for breast cancer awareness

Buddy Check 25: Meet Breast Cancer Survivor Mary Shoemaker

By WEEK Reporter

October 25, 2011 Updated Oct 25, 2011 at 5:46 PM CST

More people like Canton's Mary Shoemaker are beating breast cancer than ever before. But, the disease still kills about 40,000 U-S women and 450 men each year.

That's why Shoemaker, a two time survivor and a retired associate dean of institutional research, is doing her part to find a cure for the disease.

She recently participated as a consumer advocate in the evaluation of research applications submitted to the Breast Cancer Research Program sponsored by the Department of Defense.

Shoemaker said, "As a consumer advocate for the Department of Defense, I look at myself as a breast cancer survivor, my friends, family, any of these people that have breast cancer in their history and ask what is going to be the best way to eradicate breast cancer. Sometimes it's in the treatment of breast cancer, sometimes it is catching it early."

Mammography has significantly reduced the death rate from breast cancer, particularly for women in their 50s and 60s. But, Dr. Shoemaker says half of all insured women still are not getting their annual mammograms.

Most breast cancers, caught early, have a is 98-percent cure rate. Caught late, that number drops dramatically to just 23-percent.

The 25th of the month is the day we remind you to make your appointment for your annual screening and do your breast self-exam. And don't forget to remind a buddy to do the same.

For more information on Buddy Check 25 and our medical community partners click on buddy check in the health section of this website.

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