In response to the growing number of Breast Cancer diagnosis and mortality rates among women around the world and including Russia, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) will bring together government officials, healthcare professionals NGO’s and breast cancer survivors at an unprecedented 2-day conference. A partnership with the Susan G. Komen foundation, the conference hopes to educate, train, and build advocacy programs that will assist the estimated 50,000 Russian women diagnosed with Breast Cancer yearly. The event will take place on October 24th, in the midst of International Breast Cancer Awareness month and is part of JDC’s Women’s Health Empowerment Program (WHEP).

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in Russia and until recently, outreach, education and support for survivors has been extremely limited. The conference will also reveal findings of a study by the Institute for Family Health, which evaluated the level of breast cancer awareness among women and health care providers, prevention practices in the medical institutions, experiences of breast cancer survivors and assess available social and psychological assistance in various Russian regions.

JDC’s Women’s Health Empowerment Programs (WHEP) is dedicated to helping women of all ages and in need around the world live with dignity. We are thrilled to partner with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to help make a difference in the lives of those who might otherwise not have had a chance at survival,” said Dr. Will Recant, Assistant Executive Vice President at JDC.

WHEP was established in 1995 to strengthen services for women with breast cancer by creating psychosocial support programs by and for women with the disease. The Program builds leadership, creates new services (such as support groups and hotlines), strengthens doctor-patient communication, and facilitates partnerships among government agencies, NGOs and the medical and health community. WHEP projects have been carried out in countries such as the Czech Republic, Israel, and Ukraine and JDC has been working in the Former Soviet Union since 2004 when it first partnered with Susan G. Komen.

In September of this year, JDC’s WHEP launched an educational program for senior high school students on breast cancer and awareness in Bosnia which includes school lectures, discussions with medical professionals and survivors; JDC also launched the “Equal Chance Against Breast Cancer,” a program that opened discussions about assisting Hungarian Romani women, who are three times more likely to die from breast cancer than non-Roma women.

For more information or to attend the conference, please call Mandie Winston at +7.495.773.6958