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Tillman supports Breast Cancer Awareness campaign
October 31st, 2013

Charles Tillman has partnered with Procter & Gamble and the National Breast Cancer Foundation to spread the message that early detection is the best defense in the fight against breast cancer. 

The Bears cornerback helped raise awareness via television and radio interviews Wednesday, including appearances on NFL Network’s “NFL AM” and ESPN radio’s Colin Cowherd show. 

Tillman’s involvement is part of Procter & Gamble’s Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, which was launched in mid-October to educate not only women but also the men in their lives about the importance of early detection and formulating a plan to fight the disease. 

The cause is personal to Tillman because his grandmother is a breast cancer survivor. 

“When one member of the team is down, whether it’s in football or a family, the whole team suffers,” Tillman said. “When my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, we rallied around her and tackled the disease as a team.

“I’m happy to say that because of early detection, my grandma is still here today and a key player on our family team. If we can save one life by spreading the simple message about the life-saving value of having and following through on an early-detection plan, then we have succeeded.” 

Because one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives, Procter & Gamble and the National Breast Cancer Foundation are urging women to conduct self-exams, schedule regular medical tests and create an early detection plan. 

If breast cancer is detected in the early localized stage, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent. According to the American Cancer Society, routine self-exams and a predetermined detection plans save thousands of lives and are the most powerful tools in the fight against breast cancer. 

“We’re really just trying to get women and the men in their lives to motivate them to get these exams, examine themselves, see their doctors and have a plan,” Tillman said on NFL AM. 

Last week the Bears hosted the Procter & Gamble Best Defense Day of Action at Halas Hall in Lake Forest. More than 100 visitors had the opportunity to tour the team’s recently-renovated training facility, learn about the importance of early detection from experts and receive tools to help them create their own early detection plan.

According to the American Cancer Society’s 2013 annual report, death rates due to breast cancer continue to decline. However, while breast cancer rates are lower among non-Caucasian women, death rates are higher among African American and Latina women. In fact, 90 minutes a Latina woman dies of breast cancer in the United States. 

Since 2008, Procter & Gamble has donated more than $2.1 million to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, including $500,000 in 2013. 

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer 33 years ago, but I’m alive today thanks to early detection,” said Janelle Hail, National Breast Cancer Foundation founder & CEO. “That’s why this year’s P&G Best Defense campaign is so important to women across America. Early detection of breast cancer is our best defense, and through the generous support of P&G, NBCF will be able to save lives by providing mammograms and early detection services for women in need.” 

Procter & Gamble employees who are breast cancer survivors are also involved in the effort. They’re featured in the company’s coupon booklet, initiate discussion and action via social media and are profiled on Facebook. For more information about the campaign, visit www.pgeveryday.