Liberty Shoots to Eliminate Cervical Cancer

New York, NY - August 8, 2005 - When the Liberty hosts the Sparks on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Becky Hammon and Lisa Leslie will be on opposing sidelines. But that night they will also be teaming up...to fight cervical cancer. The game will serve as a platform for celebrating the on-going national “Choose to Know” campaign, for which Hammon and Leslie are both spokeswomen. The campaign seeks to inform women age 30 and older why they should “choose to know” whether they carry the human papillomavirus (HPV), the cause of virtually all cases of cervical cancer.

Hammon and Leslie are working with the WNBA and cervical cancer advocates to educate fans about important health and wellness issues. As part of the “Choose to Know” campaign, the players want all women age 30 and older – the age group most at risk of developing cervical cancer – to ask for the HPV test when they get their Pap. Combining the HPV test with the Pap has been proven to increase the ability to identify women at risk to virtually 100 percent, while the Pap test alone can miss 15 to 49 percent of women with pre-cancerous cells.

Christine Baze, cervical cancer survivor, musician and founder of PopSmear.org, will sing the national anthem to start the game. Throughout the evening, women’s health advocates – including a leading African-American non-profit health awareness group, The Balm in Gilead – will staff informational booths within the arena to answer questions and distribute educational materials. Fans will be urged to “take the pledge” to educate themselves and their loved ones about cervical cancer and its cause, HPV, by visiting www.TheHPVtest.com and wearing special “Choose to Know” bracelets.

“Cervical cancer can be better prevented if women understand the disease and know their HPV status,” said Hammon. “This is why my teammates and I are urging all women to obtain the facts, get a Pap regularly, and if they’re over 30, ask their doctors for the HPV test as well."

The WNBA “Choose to Know” cervical cancer prevention program is supported by Digene Corporation, developer of the HPV test. For more information on the program, click HERE

Be a part of this special evening. Purchase your tickets now for Wednesday's game at the MSG Box Office, by phone at 877-WNBA-TIX or here at nyliberty.com.