The University of New Mexico Women's Basketball team will face fierce competition from UNLV on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. The game will also feature an even fiercer battle - the battle against breast cancer. The UNM Cancer Center and UNM Hospitals encourage all audience members to wear pink to raise awareness for breast cancer and to honor all women with the disease.

Breast cancer took the lives of 40,589 women in the United States in 2008, the latest year for which Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data were available. That same year, the CDC reports that 210,203 American women were diagnosed with breast cancer. It is the second-most common cancer among women in the United States and the leading cause of cancer death among women of all races and populations.

"Our breast cancer patients constantly show us their tremendous courage," said Cheryl Willman, director and CEO of the UNM Cancer Center.

The UNM Cancer Center will host an invitation-only pre-game reception for breast cancer survivors and their family and friends. At halftime, the UNM Cancer Center, UNM Hospitals and Lobo Women's Basketball team will honor the women in a court-side ceremony.

"It is a privilege to publicly recognize these amazing women," Willman said. "We thank the Lobo Women's basketball team for their support and participation."