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The Lesbian Services Program of the Whitman-Walker Clinic conducted a series of events to help spread awareness of breast cancer called "Breast-a-palooza," which kicked off Thursday, October 12, and ended Saturday, October 14.
The breast-centered educational weekend included a seminar on how to conduct a breast self-exam, a screening of Breasts: A Documentary, and an art exhibit titled If These Breasts Could Talk.
Breast cancer is an important issue for all women, but lesbians face problems that many heterosexual women do not. These problems include difficulty finding pro-gay doctors and a frequent inability to be covered by a partner's insurance policy.
D. Magrini, health education coordinator for the Mautner Project, which helped sponsor the event, noted that lesbians "have higher rates of smoking and obesity and have children later in life, which are factors for breast cancer," The Washington Blade reported.
Since many women who have breast cancer don't manifest any of the risk factors that are generally listed, Magrini stressed the importance of improving research to find out why women are getting the disease at such a dramatically high rate. (The Advocate)