Archive for January, 2012

Event Calendar: Concert in Media, Basketball in Duncannon, York and Harrisburg

Posted By on January 16th, 2012 at 9:03 am | 34 comments.

If you are looking for something to do this month, check out the PBCC’s Event Calendar to find something happening near you! Live near Media, PA? Treat yourself to the sounds of Mersey: The British Rock Invasion at Media Theatre. Basketball fan near Duncannon, York, or Harrisburg? Check out the hoop action happening near you!

Our calendar provides a glimpse into the many great events put on by our Grassroots Partners, as well as PBCC happenings such as press conferences, traveling photo exhibit appearances, and in July, our Home Run Derby! Bookmark the page for easy access to future events!

Patient Advocacy: 2011 in Review

Posted By on January 16th, 2012 at 9:02 am | 29 comments.

The PBCC is committed to being the voice for women who might otherwise fall through the cracks in the health care system. Whenever we pick up the phone we know that on the other end of the line there might be a woman whose insurance company doesn’t want to cover the procedure that her doctor wants her to have. Or maybe her job is in jeopardy if she has to take time off from work for treatment. Or she has no health insurance and doesn’t know there are programs for which she might qualify.

In 2011, our patient advocate worked with over 60 women to help find the answers they needed. Some were easy referrals to the organization or program to fit her needs. Many were more complicated and involved lengthy follow-ups.

If you, or someone you know, need help please visit the “Needs Help” section of our website. If you don’t find the answer there, contact Dolores Magro at Dolores@PABreastCancer.org.

Dorothy from Lititz, PA wrote us, “My insurance company was refusing to cover a portion of the bill from my reconstructive surgery. They said it was cosmetic. Once I shared with them the information you gave me, they reversed the denial of my 3rd appeal. I never wanted something for nothing. I just wanted what was fair.”

Survivor Spotlight: Ann Dorrance, Dauphin County

Posted By on January 16th, 2012 at 9:01 am | 45 comments.

In December 2002 Ann Dorrance was a 46 year-old mother of 4 ranging from twins in the 4th grade to a daughter in college. Even though a mammogram the previous year showed nothing, she could feel a lump. Not while lying down though. She could only feel it when she was sitting or standing. Ann has always been a person to forge through and do whatever needs to be done.

She had a biopsy, then chemo to shrink the tumor before surgery, a double mastectomy, more chemo and radiation. She put her trust in her physician, Dr. Bob Gordon in Camp Hill, and she believes finding a doctor who really hears you is an extremely important part of the healing process.

A breast cancer diagnosis affects the whole family, not just the patient. Ann’s oldest daughter was scheduled to go to school in Italy for six months but cancelled the trip without telling her mother. It was important to Ann to continue attending her children’s soccer games and other events. But she emphasizes that there is no right or wrong way to handle your treatment. Whatever works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for the next.

The one thing she advises other women is to tell your friends and family how they can help you, because they want to. Some days that might mean telling them to let you be sick alone. Other times you might ask them to cook dinner, especially on chemo days. And it’s a good idea to share your experiences with other women who have walked the path you’re traveling. They understand things you’re going through that no one else can.

Oncotype DX Scores Help Identify DCIS Patients at Low Risk of Recurrence

Posted By on January 16th, 2012 at 9:00 am | 41 comments.

Oncotype DX is a laboratory test developed by Genomic Health, Inc., that has been used to predict the likelihood of chemotherapy benefit and recurrence risk in ER-positive, HER2-negative early stage invasive breast cancer. A report from the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium held in December indicates that the test can also predict the likelihood of local recurrence for patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).

This study indicated that the test is able to identify women with DCIS who are at low risk for recurrent disease, ie, patients who may be able to avoid radiation therapy after surgery, and those at higher risk, who may require radiation therapy. This means that those who require more treatment would be the ones to receive it, while those with a less aggressive form of DCIS would be able to avoid the side effects sometimes associated with radiation therapy.

DCIS has historically represented a challenge for physicians, who have used a wide spectrum of treatment options from breast conserving surgery with or without radiation to mastectomy. Lumpectomy has become the current standard, following a trend in breast cancer surgery to not “overtreat” patients who may have a less aggressive form of the disease.

More information on this study can be found here.

Coming Soon: PBCC’s Free Online Course for Nurses and Social Workers on the Free Treatment Program

Posted By on January 16th, 2012 at 8:59 am | 31 comments.

The PBCC is proud to announce that its new online course will be available in March. This 2-hour course is FREE for nurses, social workers, or anyone who wants to learn more about how women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer can get FREE Treatment through the Commonwealth of PA’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment program (BCCPT). Nurses and social workers can earn 2 credits FREE through taking the course. This program offers full free medical care for uninsured and underinsured women who have been diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer. For the women who learn about the program, the benefits are life saving.

If you are a nurse, social worker, patient navigator, advocate or just someone who wants to know more about this important program then this course is for you.  Look for more information over the next few months. We’ll send out alerts when the course is ready to go.

A special thanks goes to the NSABP for their generous support!

Three Researchers Awarded 2012 Refunds for Research Grants

Posted By on January 16th, 2012 at 8:58 am | 40 comments.

Thanks to the generosity of state taxpayers, three researchers will be awarded grants through the PBCC’s 2012 Refunds for Breast and Cervical Cancer Research initiative. Allan Lipton, M.D. of the Penn State College of Medicine, Andy Minn, M.D., Ph.D. of the University of Pennsylvania, and Takemi Tanaka, Ph.D. of Thomas Jefferson University will each receive a $50,000 grant to be used during this calendar year on their respective research projects.

All three researchers’ topics deal with the issue of metastases. Dr. Lipton’s research focus is Predicting Response to HER2-Targeted Therapy. The focus of Dr. Minn’s research is Identification of Metastasis Signaling Pathways That Regulate and Predict Organ-Specific Metastasis. Dr. Tanaka’s research centers on Prevention of Breast Cancer Metastases.

The PBCC’s Refunds for Research grants are made possible through contributions from state taxpayers who choose to contribute all or part of their state income tax refund to the program. Every penny raised through state taxpayers’ contributions goes to fund research happening right here in Pennsylvania.

A public kick-off event for the 2012 Refunds for Research campaign will be held on Monday, March 12 at 2:30 pm in the Main Rotunda at the Capitol Building in Harrisburg. Another event will be held in Philadelphia in early February at a time and location to be determined. Join us in recognizing these three talented researchers and thanking Pennsylvania taxpayers for their continued support of this crucial program.

Ringing in the New Year with Renewed Hope for a Cure

Posted By on January 16th, 2012 at 8:57 am | 32 comments.

2011 was yet another incredible year for the PA Breast Cancer Coalition. We sent 497 Friends Like Me Care Packages to newly diagnosed women across the state. Our 67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania traveling photo exhibit visited 5 communities and touched the lives of thousands of individuals. 151 teams and 16 single batters stepped up to the plate for the Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer home run derby in July.

Over 60 women were assisted by our patient advocacy efforts.  Nearly 1,000 breast cancer survivors, advocates, health care professionals, and community and corporate leaders attended the PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference in October. $100,000 was given to Dr. Craig Meyers at the Penn State College of Medicine to further his promising research into a virus that kills breast cancer cells that could potentially lead us to a cure. Grassroots Partners raised over $425,000 to enable us to continue our efforts on behalf of women and their families.

In 2012, we remain committed to representing, supporting and serving breast cancer survivors and their families in Pennsylvania. We renew our commitment to the goal of finding a cure for breast cancer now…so our daughters won’t have to.  Please join us!