New Charity to Tackle Cancer Death Rate in Developing Countries

By The Odysseus Foundation, PRNE
Monday, September 26, 2011

LONDON, September 27, 2011 -

- 88% of Cervical Cancer Deaths Happen In Developing Countries - Many of Them Preventable

In developing countries, breast and cervical cancer is rapidly becoming the leading cause of cancer-related deaths.  Worldwide, it is estimated that 85% of cervical cancer cases occur in developing countries.  In addition 60% of breast cancer deaths are in developing countries.  It’s no coincidence that access to diagnosis and treatment is practically non-existent in these areas.

As Breast Cancer Awareness month begins, new international charity The Odysseus Foundation says just £16 will give a woman in need vital breast and cervical cancer screening overseas.  It has launched its ‘Penelope’ campaign to reduce these shocking mortality rates and the associated suffering of the affected women, their families and communities, by ensuring earlier stage detection through effective screening programmes.

Justen Schafer Humes, Founder/CEO of The Odysseus Foundation, and cancer survivor, says: “Nothing can prepare you for hearing the words “You have cancer.”  In 2006, I was diagnosed with cancer.  But I was lucky - my cancer was diagnosed early, and in the UK.  

“With advances in treatments, ‘Diagnosis:Cancer’ is no longer a death sentence.  We believe free preventative healthcare is a basic human right, but it’s not something we can do without the support of the UK public, through the ‘Penelope’ campaign.”

The charity wants the UK public to consider the importance of knowing the ‘Bits and Boobs’ in their life while providing breast and cervical cancer screening for a less fortunate woman overseas.  For each £16 donation, The Odysseus Foundation will provide a complete breast and cervical cancer exam to a woman in a developing country or socially-excluded community, including  pap smear, pelvic examination, clinical breast exam and mammogram, and the teaching of breast self-examination (BSE) advocating future empowerment.

The Odysseus Foundation (registered charity 1137983) is the first UK charity to address the prevention and detection of breast and cervical cancer overseas.  It aims to raise £1.6 million through its four-year ‘Penelope’ campaign, named after Odysseus’s wife, to provide screening services to 100,000 women, and raise UK awareness of the necessity for regular self-examination and utilisation of free screening services.

A £16 donation can make a real difference.  Please show your support at

For information/interview with Justen Schafer Humes, CEO, The Odysseus Foundation, contact:

Nikki Lee, The Phoenix Partners


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