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October 5, 2006

CHECK YOUR BOOBIES


CHECK YOUR BOOBIES IS A NEW NON-PROFIT HEALTH INITIATIVE TO TEACH WOMEN ABOUT BREAST HEALTH IN A FRANK, FUN, FEAR-FREE MANNER

*Founded by a Seattle breast cancer survivor and mother of three with no family history of breast cancer.
*Check Your Boobies Parties and Check Your Boobies Kits provide women with a fun, engaging and non-threatening environment and tools to learn about breast health.
*Organization offers free monthly self-exam reminders.

Check Your Boobies (http://www.checkyourboobies.org/), the first not-for-profit community health initiative designed to teach every woman about breast health, cancer prevention and early breast cancer detection in a frank, fun and fear-free manner, last night held its first educational outreach event, the signature Check Your Boobies Party and provided guests with the chic, feminine Check Your Boobies Kit.

"Like me, an increasing number of young women with no family history of breast cancer are being diagnosed in their early 30s and even younger. Early detection makes a huge difference in survival so it is vital that every woman be familiar with her breasts," said Check Your Boobies Founder and breast cancer survivor Heike Malakoff. "Check Your Boobies' mission is to have every woman know her breasts and check them frequently. Checking them at the same time every month gives you a baseline from which you can confidently note significant changes in your breast tissue and address them with your doctor as early as possible."

According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 1 in 9 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime and the key to a continued reduction in mortality is early detection.

"Eight out of 10 women do not perform self breast exams regularly, which means the majority of women are not in tune with the normal monthly changes in their breasts. There needs to be a fear-free, proactive approach to demystifying and ending the social taboos associated with talking about breast health and touching your breasts, which is why the organization is boldly and cheerfully called Check Your Boobies," said Heike.

"Monthly self-exams are particularly important for women under 40 because mammograms may not always be accurate due to the density of breast tissue in women under age 40. In fact, monthly self-exams should be a part of every woman's regular routine, just like brushing her teeth and washing her face, and should start in her teens, at the same time she learns about menstruation," said Rick Clarfeld, M.D., Medical Director of Northwest Breast Associates, a division of Overlake Hospital.

The last day of your cycle is the most opportune time to conduct a self-exam and you can do it in just a few minutes.

"I have completed my chemotherapy and radiation treatments and now feel healthy and empowered. My experience has led me to focus my energy on educating women about breast health. Check Your Boobies is not about finding cancer, but knowing your breasts and their changes," said Heike.

How the Check Your Boobies Party, Kit and Free Monthly Reminder Work
The signature Check Your Boobies Party and Check Your Boobies Kit are designed to provide women with fun, engaging and non-threatening tools to learn about breast health and share that experience with their girlfriends and family.

A Check Your Boobies Party may take place during a gathering of women, such as a book club, Tupperware, spa, or purse party, or religious gathering. While in the company comfort of girlfriends, a Breast Health professional visits and teaches attendees about breast health, breast cancer prevention, and provides guests with a Check Your Boobies Kit. Kits include a stylish shower self-exam reminder card, a bookmark, and 12 reminder stickers (one for each of the 12 months of the year) for your calendar.

A not-for-profit organization, Check Your Boobies provides the visiting Breast Health professional at no cost and the Check Your Boobies Tool Box for $10.00 each, plus shipping and handling. Check Your Boobies also offers free monthly self-exam reminder.

"Check Your Boobies provides the information you need to become comfortable and confident with conducting monthly breast self-exams -- in other words, 'checking your boobies' at the same time, every month," said Heike.

Chic Check Your Boobies hats and t-shirts are also available to help spread the word. For more information, to arrange a Check Your Boobies Party, order a Check Your Boobies Kit, or to register for free monthly reminders to 'check your boobies,' go to http://www.checkyourboobies.org/ or call 206-962-0292.

Check Your Boobies Founder, Heike Malakoff was diagnosed with breast cancer five days after her 34th birthday, just as her twin boys celebrated their first birthdays. Heike had no family history of breast cancer and had led a physically active lifestyle, running a marathon, while drinking and smoking socially in her 20s.

About Check Your Boobies
Founded in 2005 by breast cancer survivor Heike Malakoff, Seattle-based Check Your Boobies is the first not-for-profit community health initiative designed to teach every woman about breast health, breast cancer prevention and early breast cancer detection in a frank, fun and fear-free manner. The organization is committed to educating women about breast health and does so through its signature Check Your Boobies Party, Check Your Boobies Kit and Web site at http://www.checkyourboobies.org/. Check Your Boobies offers a free monthly self-exam reminder by email. To register for a free monthly self-exam reminder, arrange a Check Your Boobies Party, order a Check Your Boobies Kit, or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit http://www.checkyourboobies.org/ or call 206-962-0292.

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