Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon attracts large crowd

An estimated 1,055 guests attended today's Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center, an event hosted by the Columbus Regional Medical Foundation.

The event featured North Carolina-based humorist Emory Austin, a 30-year breast cancer survivor. Austin encouraged audience members to embrace traits like courage and self-awareness.

"Use your voice and use it well and do not hesitate to speak up," she said while wearing a pink wig. Austin plans to wear the wig for the entire month of October.

Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, according to 2009-2010 data from the American Cancer Society. Breast cancer accounts for nearly 1 in 4 cancers diagnosed in U.S. women, the ACS reports.

The luncheon's proceeds benefited a Columbus Regional Medical Foundation fund "established to help working, insured women with prohibitively high deductibles and limited coverage for breast cancer diagnosis and treatment."