In the United States, 120 people die of breast cancer a day.
- For this week's 4 Your Community, the pandemic has caused people all across the country to cancel doctor's appointments and cancer screenings. This year, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation's Hot Pink Party will be virtual. And as WBZ's Paula Ebben shows us, the event is as important as ever.
PAULA EBBEN: The one thing that I was reading through that was-- it really hit me this time around. And I have to read it so I make sure I have it correct that, for the first time ever, breast cancer has become the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world?
MYRA BIBLOWIT: Yes it has now surpassed lung cancer. That is a statistic from the World Health Organization. It is now the most frequently diagnosed cancer worldwide, with 2.3 million diagnoses in a single year. That certainly makes the case for BCRF with our laser-sharp focus on research.
PAULA EBBEN: On research. You're saying research is the reason is such a good phrase because we know, over the last 12 months during the pandemic, so many people delayed or canceled cancer screenings, mammograms, breast MRIs, other procedures. And unfortunately, BCRF is here to say that that might be a harbinger of some really tough news to come.
MYRA BIBLOWIT: It is. Diagnoses are down by 50%. And that's not because there is less breast cancer. But as people delay screening, it's going to be a tsunami of breast cancers to come that are more aggressive with poor outcomes. And that is a terrifying fact.
PAULA EBBEN: So the fundraising that you're doing with events like the Hot Pink Evening is going to be crucial this year because you really need to get the word out not only to get money to the researchers here in New England that you always fund but to really encourage women and the people who love them to make sure people get back to getting those cancer screenings in this next 12 months, right?
MYRA BIBLOWIT: Right, that's right. You know, breast cancer doesn't stop for a pandemic. But let's face it, cancer has been de-prioritized. You have COVID. You have social justice. You have climate issues. There are pressing great causes all taking a bite of the philanthropic dollar. But when the pandemic is over still, 120 people will be dying every day in this country from breast cancer.
PAULA EBBEN: When you think about a woman getting diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes in this country, and during COVID people just haven't had time to think about that, it is scary. So let's talk more about the events. So Thursday, April 29, 7 o'clock. It's virtual. How can people log on and become a part of it?
MYRA BIBLOWIT: BostonHotPink.org. Buy tickets. Join us. We promise you an enlivening, entertaining evening presenting the Carolyn Lynch Humanitarian Award to Bill and Sinesia Karol. All of the funds we raise-- we say this every time I'm in Boston. The funds we raise in Boston stay in Boston. And we have a deep investment there. Cumulatively, we have given $102 million to institutions in the Boston region.
PAULA EBBEN: It's remarkable, all of our great institutions here. And music from Bruce Hornsby. So that'll be a great--
MYRA BIBLOWIT: A big fave of Bill Karol's. So it will be a wonderful evening. A lot is riding on it because we want to sustain our investment. We are supporting 45 researchers across all of the premier institutions in Boston with $10 million this year alone.
I want to be sure we sustain it and, better yet, grow it. And we are only as good as the funds we raise.
PAULA EBBEN: And I'll be just so thrilled to be a part of it. And hopefully lots and lots of people will log on and join us on a Sunday night. Myra Biblowit from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, so good to see you. Thank you.
MYRA BIBLOWIT: We'll see you on the 29th of April.