Olivia Breast Self-Exam Aid
Four-time Grammy winner Olivia Newton-John today announced a partnership with Curves, the world's largest fitness franchise for women to launch an international campaign to distribute 1 million units of Olivia Aid, a breast self-exam aid that assists women to exercise breast self-exams correctly. The initiative's goal is to empower and encourage women to take responsibility for their bodies and breast health by launching a 'first-of-its-kind' campaign beginning in October 2008 as part of "Breast Cancer Awareness Month" available exclusively through Curves..
Newton-John credits her own breast self-exam as the first step to her eventual diagnosis of breast cancer. Now, 16 years later she has become a passionate advocate in creating awareness for early detection and encouraging women to take a more active role in their breast health. "That I am fine today and stronger than before, I credit to early detection," says Newton-John
Breast self-examination is an important step to woman can do herself as part of a regular breast health routine. "Clearly a significant number of breast cancers are found by the patient herself, even in the setting of a normal mammogram," says renowned breast cancer surgeon Ernie Bodai, M.D., F.A.C.S, who has treated over 4,000 women with breast cancer. "The Olivia Aid greatly enhances a woman's ability in detecting an abnormality
which in many cases will lead to early detection and a better chance for a cure."
"Being a breast cancer 'thriver', I know that early detection is key to good breast health," says Newton-John, whose cancer was diagnosed in 1992 and who is now cancer-free. "My wish is that all women aged 20 and above perform monthly breast self-examinations. With the wonderful support of Curves, an organisation whose mission statement is 'strengthening women,' I hope that this campaign will be the beginning to have the Olivia Aid available to every woman and will become a staple in every medicine cabinet in the next five years."
Following a partnership with Olivia Newton-John's Great Walk to Beijing, a 228 km journey along the Great Wall of China in April 2008 which raised more than $2 million for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre Appeal, Curves is passionate about making the Olivia Aid available to all women. Considering that numerous studies show a lower percentage of cancer diagnosis in women who maintain a healthy body weight and practice regular fitness programs, Curves is the ideal partner to successfully get the Olivia Aid into the hands of 1 million women in October.
Curves founder Diane Heavin joined Newton-John for the entire three-week journey on the Great Wall of China, and Curves alone raised more than $1 million for the cause. Curves will continue its efforts in the fight against cancer (the company's number one cause marketing effort) with the support of the Olivia Aid.
"No other cause has united the Curves community like the fight against cancer- and specifically, breast cancer," said Diane Heavin. "When I heard that Olivia was behind this amazing early detection tool, I couldn't wait to get my hands on one. After I used it myself, I couldn't wait to get the Olivia Aid into the hands of millions of women."
Non-members can get a free Olivia Aid when they come in for a complimentary Fitness Assessment. Curves members have a variety of ways to obtain an Olivia Aid, including showing proof of a mammogram within the last 12 months. Olivia Aids are also available for purchase by anyone in the community. The goal is to distribute 1 million Olivia Aids to women through October.
To coincide with the Olivia Aid campaign in October, the www.liv.com website will be launched as a one-stop source for information, news and education about breast health and early detection. Newton-John and Curves want to inspire women to exercise good breast health by actively integrating breast health into their daily life and making it a part of their monthly routine.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How can women exercise good breast health?
Most women who think of screening for breast cancer think of mammograms. But there are actually three ways to screen for breast cancer that, when combined, offer the best opportunity to detect the disease at its earliest, most treatable stage. These are:Mammography
Clinical breast exam by a healthcare professional
Breast self-exam (BSE)
How important is the Breast-Self-Exam (BSE)?
Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer among women worldwide, which is why BSE is so important. BSE unquestionably catches a significant number- 15 to 20% - of breast cancers that otherwise might have gone undetected fro possibly up to a year between doctor visits. About 80% of breast cancers not discovered by mammography are found by women themselves. Through BSE, women become familiar with their breasts, learn what is 'normal' for them, and are in the best position to detect subtle changes in their breast tissue.
How Important is Early Detection?
Without a doubt, early detection is the key to having many more treatment options at your disposal- and it gives you a better chance for an excellent outcome. More than 95% of women whose breast cancer is caught in its earliest stages will be healthy and disease-free five years after their diagnosis and treatment.
Why don't more women do BSE?
There are many reasons that women don't perform BSE. These include modesty not knowing how to do it correctly, and being frightened to find a lump. Women are more afraid of getting breast cancer than any other disease, but knowing that - a) early detection saves lives and b) over 80% of lumps found are not cancerous- may help manage fear. To help with some of the other challenges, there's Olivia Aid!
What is the Olivia Aid?
The Olivia Aid is a soft, fluid-filled pad that enhances a woman's sense of touch and makes the BSE process simpler and much more sensitive for detecting new or unusual lumps. It provides a modest barrier between the breast tissue and fingers, while at the same time acting as a magnifying glass for the fingers. It does this by reducing the friction between the fingers and the breast tissue, allowing the fingers to glide smoothly over the breast area via the liquid inside.
Why is it called the Olivia Aid?
Australian singer and four-time Grammy winner Olivia Newton-John, a breast cancer survivor is the inspiration behind the Olivia Aid. The design reflects the heart-shaped dot in the 'I' in her signature, and she chooses the colours purple (also Curves' signature colour) and hot pink. Olivia found a lump through BSE sixteen years ago, and she credits the fact that through early self-detection, she quite possibly saved her own life. Her dream is that every woman in the world will get an Olivia Aid and begin performing regular BSE between annual mammograms and doctor check-ups. Consequently, the new Olivia Aid was developed with the goal to keep cost-of-goods to a minimum to allow Curves to distribute it to a million women as a promotional item.
Aren't there similar products to the Olivia Aid on the market?
There are other BSE pads, but none are of as exceptional quality as the Olivia Aid. Made of soft, flexible components, the Olivia Aid has no sharp or rough edges. It's designed to make BSE more comfortable and convenient.
Where Can I get an Olivia Aid?
The curves-branded Olivia Aid and promotional offer are available exclusively through participating Curves locations. Every woman has a chance to get a FREE Olivia Aid during Breast Cancer Awareness Month- October- at participating Curves locations.
Why is Curves partnering with Olivia Aid?
Curves has helped millions of women around the world lose millions of kilos and move away from all types of diseases. Curves has also been a long-committed partner in the fight against cancer, raising millions of dollars annually for research treatment, and recovery programs.
An avalanche of recent research links obesity and excess weight with an increased risk for many types of cancers- including breast cancer. When you understand that only 5-10% of breast cancers are hereditary and one third of all breast cancer can be related to lack of exercise and poor diet, you'll see that we have much more control over our cancer risk than previously though. This means we have to take responsibility for our own health. By managing weight, eating a diet low in fat and high in fruits and vegetables, and exercising regularly- at least 30 minutes, three times a week, we can significantly reduce cancer risk. Curves is committed to strengthening women through creating awareness of the risk of obesity, providing health education, and helping women exercise good breath health by distributing one million Olivia Aids in 2008.
As the world's leading women's fitness centre with more than 4 million members, Curves has the ability to show women how the Olivia Aid works through the amazing "sugar demonstration". Once you've experienced the demonstration, it's easy to see how the Olivia Aid can help with early detection.
Curves is also offering a monthly BSE email reminder from Olivia Newton-John and Curves founder Diane Heavin. Women can sign up for this free service beginning September 1 at www.curves.com
About the Olivia Aid:
The Olivia Aid is a simple, patented, and FDA-cleared medical device that makes clinical and breast self-examinations effortless and more comfortable. It comes in the form of a heart shaped thin silicone pillow filled with a non-toxic lubricant. The Aid reduces the friction between the fingers and the breast for ease of movement of the fingers over the breast. For more information visit: www.liv.com
Curves works to help woman lose weight, gain muscle strength and aerobic capacity, and raise metabolism with its groundbreaking, scientifically proven method that ends the need for perpetual dieting. Curves works every major muscle group with a complete 30 minute workout that combines strength training and sustained cardiovascular activity through safe and effective hydraulic resistance. Founders Gary and Diane Heavin are considered the innovators of the express fitness phenomenon that has made exercise available to over 4 million women, many of whom are in the gym for the first time. With more than 10,000 locations in over 60 countries, Curves is the world's largest fitness franchise. For more information visit: www.curves.com