AstraZeneca

Historic Breast Cancer Awareness Initiative Meets Global Need for Breast Cancer Information

London (ots/PRNewswire) - - 'Redefining Hope and Beauty' Campaign Surpasses All Expectations Breast cancer charities from around the world are today celebrating the success of the world's first truly global breast cancer awareness campaign - 'Redefining Hope and Beauty'. In the first few weeks since its historic launch, the campaign has already surpassed expectations - succeeding in spreading life-saving breast cancer health information to thousands of women across the world. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20041215/LNW002) The unprecedented level of interest in the campaign has highlighted the continuing need for improved access to information about this devastating disease, its causes, symptoms and treatment options. Since its launch, the campaign's website, www.hopeandbeauty.org, has seen an average of almost 300 visits per hour, from countries as diverse as South Africa, Malaysia, Gibraltar, Peru and Japan. 'Redefining Hope and Beauty' is the first campaign of its kind to reach out on a global scale, helping to ensure that women everywhere have access to the information about breast cancer detection, prevention and treatment, which could potentially save their lives. The campaign crossed international boundaries by uniting 11 different breast cancer patient groups, from four continents, in an awareness and fundraising initiative which has so far raised over GBP12,000 through charitable donations from individuals, companies and through an online auction. The global organisation of the campaign was sponsored by AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN), a company that is proud to have been supporting such breast cancer awareness initiatives for over 20 years. Professor Jeffrey Tobias, founder of the Edmund Emory Fund (University College London Hospitals), accepted the funds raised so far on behalf of the 11 participating breast cancer patient groups. The cheque was presented by Sir Tom McKillop, Chief Executive of AstraZeneca, who said: "I am thrilled that AstraZeneca has been able to support this truly groundbreaking and necessary campaign. We believe that initiatives such as this not only emphasise the importance of awareness of this disease, amongst women around the world, but may also help save lives. With recent improvements in treatment options, along with earlier detection and diagnosis, more and more women are becoming empowered to beat this disease." The fund-raising celebrity on-line auction attracted the support of a wealth of international celebrities. Stars such as Sharon Osbourne, Britt Ekland, Westlife, Simon Cowell and the Olympic Gold-Medal winning Men's Coxless Four team each personally decorated an exclusive ceramic statuette. These were auctioned alongside other items donated by the likes of Emma Thompson and Philip Treacy. Celebrities have continued to come forward to lend their support by donating new items for the campaign. As a result, a new celebrity auction will commence on 15th December at www.hopeandbeauty.org and will include statuettes by Zara Phillips, Martin Offiah MBE, Portuguese news presenter, Manuela Moura Guedes and signed Kylie Minogue CDs. Dallas Petroff, from Willow Breast Cancer Support & Resource Services, Canada, one of the participating patient groups, said: "This campaign has been a truly wonderful opportunity for us to unite and form relationships with our fellow breast cancer charities from across the world. We have felt for some time that there was a real need to broaden access to breast cancer information and the response to this campaign has shown us that this need is even greater than we first thought. The success of this inaugural campaign will allow us to extend this excellent work into next year, enabling us to continue to work as a global group, bringing help, information and hope to more women than ever before." Most of us will be affected by breast cancer at some point in our lives - it is a devastating disease which affects up to 1.2 million people worldwide. Raising awareness of the basic facts about the disease, such as its signs and symptoms, in women of all ages across all corners of the world, can help the disease to be caught earlier, potentially saving thousands of lives. The campaign's website, www.hopeandbeauty.org, will continue to promote and extend the important support services offered by the participating breast cancer charities for all those affected by breast cancer everywhere. Notes to editors About the sponsors The organisation of the 'Redefining Hope & Beauty' campaign is being managed by Shire Health International and supported by AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical company committed to raising breast cancer awareness. - AstraZeneca were the core sponsors of the first ever National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) campaign which originated in the US, back in 1984. They have a long-standing heritage in cancer treatment and are committed to providing women with more breast cancer treatment choices and therefore, more hope. As NBCAM celebrates it's 20th anniversary this year, AstraZeneca are proud to be the sole sponsor of 'Redefining Hope & Beauty' - the 'first of it's kind' global breast cancer awareness campaign. About 'Redefining Hope & Beauty' The name, 'Redefining Hope & Beauty', was chosen for a variety of reasons but mainly to reflect the objectives and importance of the project. - Hope is a core element in the fight against breast cancer for patients, their families, friends and health care professionals. When people first hear the word cancer, they often hear a death sentence. But today, increased awareness and improved technology and medical treatments offer real hope to anyone affected by breast cancer and is redefining people's expectations and aspirations for their treatment outcomes now and into the future. - Beauty is a very practical and psychological concern for all women. The physical and emotional impact of cancer can have devastating effects for women in terms of their levels of confidence, quality of relationships, physical mobility, etc. Even a decade ago, women with breast cancer had few choices and limited support but today, women are fighting and beating breast cancer with pride and confidence. In this way, they redefine what is beautiful and provide hope to other women in similar situations and for future generations. - The statuettes being auctioned are themselves works of art and beauty. The celebrities have redesigned the statuettes with an optimistic outlook towards breast cancer awareness and treatment. Hence they are redefining the very art itself with their own portrayal of hope and beauty. About the charities At the time of launch the 'Redefining Hope & Beauty' campaign has united 11 charities representing 10 countries - the USA, UK, Canada, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Venezuela, Sweden, Holland and Australia. To view further information about the campaign's charities, please log onto www.hopeandbeauty.org Photo Notes: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20041215/LNW002 AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN5 PRN Photo Desk, photodesk@prnewswire.com For further information The 'Redefining Hope & Beauty' campaign launch press conference and all associated press materials are available at www.hopeandbeauty.org ots Originaltext: AstraZeneca Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.newsaktuell.ch Contact: Rita Martins, Shire Health International, Tel: +44-207-471-1528, Email: rita.martins@shirehealthinternational.com

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