Michigan Receives Two New Funding Awards from CDC for Breast Cancer Genomics

Contact: Angela Minicuci 517 241-2112

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - October 25, 2011

LANSING -The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has presented Michigan with two new funding awards for breast cancer genomics. Both of these awards are part of a broader effort by CDC to support the Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young (EARLY) Act, section 10413 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148). The EARLY Act authorizes CDC to develop initiatives to increase knowledge of breast health and breast cancer among women, particularly among those under the age of 40 and those at heightened risk for developing the disease. The CDC Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC) announced last month that the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is one of three recipients to receive a 3-year cooperative agreement to enhance breast cancer genomic practices through education, surveillance, and policy.

"Ensuring that Michigan residents, especially women, are aware of their risks for breast cancer is incredibly important," said Olga Dazzo, Director of the MDCH. "These funding opportunities are a wonderful chance for MDCH to educate women about the risks of breast cancer and why knowing their families' health history is important to their individual health concerns."

MDCH proposed a multifaceted project to promote the adoption of health plan policies to increase coverage of clinical genetic services in high risk women; increase health care provider knowledge and use of clinical practice recommendations; and to expand state surveillance of genetic counseling and testing for the inherited breast and ovarian cancer genes (BRCA1/2).

The CDC DCPC also announced that Michigan is the sole recipient of a supplemental funding award that was open to Prevention Research Centers across the nation. The University of Michigan School of Nursing in partnership with the School of Medicine, School of Public Health and MDCH was awarded a 3-year cooperative agreement aimed at increasing appropriate breast cancer screening utilization among young breast cancer survivors and their at-risk family members.

Through both of these funding opportunities, MDCH hopes to increase awareness about inherited breast and ovarian cancer and the needs of young breast cancer survivors and their family members. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death and the most commonly diagnosed cancer (excluding skin cancer) in women in both the U.S. and in Michigan.

Breast and ovarian cancer can run in families and be caused by an underlying genetic change passed from parent to child. Knowing your family health history and sharing it with your healthcare providers is one way to better estimate your risk for diseases such as breast cancer. MDCH encourages all Michigan residents to follow the recommended screening guidelines for breast cancer, collect your family health history, and share it with your healthcare provider.

For additional information on cancer in Michigan, please visit www.michigan.gov/genomics or www.michigan.gov/cancer. For the Michigan Cancer Genetics Alliance or to locate a cancer genetics specialist near you, visit http://www.migrc.org/.