Author Archive

Patient Advocacy Tip: Finding Accurate Medical News Online

Posted By on June 17th, 2013 at 8:15 am | 0 comments.

woman on computerfor PLMedical news can change often; one week, a new “breakthrough” is discovered, only to be disputed the next week. As a result, it is difficult to know what news to believe and how it affects your decisions. Finding accurate information on the internet can sometimes be overwhelming.

The American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO) offers oncologist-approved patient information at www.cancer.net. The site offers medical information on more than 120 types of cancer and related syndromesclinical trialsmanaging side effectscaregiving, and much more. It’s meant to be a valuable resource throughout a patient’s cancer journey, from the time of diagnosis, through treatment, and into long-term survivorship.

The content is subject to a formal peer-review process by an editorial board composed of more than 150 medical, surgical, radiation, and pediatric oncologists; oncology nurses; social workers; and patient advocates.

You will find tips on coping, survivorship, cancer news and research articles. With a quick click, the text translates into Spanish. Cancer.Net also offers a free app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Features include an interactive tool to keep track of questions for your doctor, a symptom and side effect tracker and a place to save details about prescription medications.

 

“Pretty on Purpose” Pampers Survivors in Pennsylvania

Posted By on June 17th, 2013 at 8:15 am | 22 comments.

Saks Pamper Me PicHave you recently been diagnosed with breast cancer?  Saks Fifth Avenue Philadelphia and Bobbi Brown cosmetics are teaming up to offer a FREE day of pampering for survivors this August!

Theresa Turner, a breast cancer survivor and Bobbi Brown Artist will host an exclusive program  featuring specialists in skincare, beauty and bra fittings on August 3 from 10:30am to 1:00pm at the Saks Fifth Avenue in Bala Cwynyd.  We’re looking for 10-12 survivors who have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the past 6 months to be chosen on a first-come, first-serve basis to participate in this unique pampering party.  Travel costs are not included.  If you’d like to be considered, please contact our Community Outreach Director Kristen Snoke at Kristen@PABreastCancer.org or 717-769-2301.

For more information on the “Pretty on Purpose” program, click here.

Welcome PBCC Board Member Kelly Urbani!

Posted By on June 17th, 2013 at 8:15 am | 0 comments.

Kelly UrbaniThe PBCC welcomes Kelly Urbani as the new Grassroots Partner Representative on our Board of Directors!  Urbani serves as an organizer of Westmoreland Walks, a successful event for the PBCC entering its 11th year this October.

Kelly graduated from Edinboro State University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education.  She earned both her Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 2010 and Principal K-12 Certification in 2012 from Gannon University.

Kelly has served on the Westmoreland Walks, Inc. Board of Directors for the past seven years.  Westmoreland Walks, Inc. was created in 2000 by a group of women who were touched by breast cancer in some way.  Wanting to contribute towards breast cancer research and do something to help women as they progressed through the stages of their breast cancer diagnosis, the idea of a walk was born.  As a grassroots partner of the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition, Westmoreland Walks has raised more than $250,000!

Additionally, Westmoreland Walks, Inc. hosts an annual Spa Day. Women battling breast cancer are invited to participate in a full day of education, relaxation, inspiration and friendship.  Kelly was also instrumental in creating the Pink Ribbon Scholarship which is awarded to a High School Senior whose life has been impacted by breast cancer.  Dedicated to improved communication, advocacy, and research, Kelly is honored and thrilled to have an opportunity to serve as a Grassroots Partner Representative with the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition.

Kelly resides in Greensburg, PA with her children, Dominic age 12, and Mia, age 10.  She is a first grade teacher at R. K. Mellon Elementary School in the Ligonier Valley School District.  Kelly and her children enjoy skiing in the winter and spending time together at the pool in the summer.

 

PBCC Online Course Educates Thousands on Free Treatment

Posted By on May 15th, 2013 at 8:54 am | 25 comments.

Woman on Computer2Since its creation last year, more than 2,000 nurses, social workers, caretakers advocates and school district employees have taken our FREE Online Course on Pennsylvania’s free breast cancer treatment options.

Most recently, the PBCC discovered the course’s popularity among school districts throughout Pennsylvania including Mount Lebanon School District in western PA.  The course is open to anyone motivated to learn about Pennsylvania’s free breast cancer treatment options, a lifeline for many newly diagnosed women.  Nurses and social workers are eligible for two FREE continuing education credits upon completing the course.

To take the course, visit http://pbcc.me/classroom.

 

President’s Corner: Celebrating 20 Years Strong!

Posted By on May 13th, 2013 at 9:07 am | 30 comments.

Pat HeadshotWe made history, again. The PBCC celebrated 20 years of education, outreach and advocacy last week with a rally in the State Capitol Rotunda. The event kicked off a special presentation of 67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania, the PBCC’s photo exhibit which will be on display in the Rotunda through May 17. 32 women, all in pink, stood on the Capitol steps to represent the 32 women diagnosed with breast cancer in Pennsylvania every day. PA Secretary of Health Michael Wolf spoke of the importance of the exhibit and its impact on early screening awareness and Central PA Photo Exhibit Participants Debbie Freer and Alice Sanders shared their inspiring stories. Both the State House of Representatives and State Senate passed resolutions proclaiming May 7, 2013 “PA Breast Cancer Coalition Day” in honor of our 20th Anniversary year.

The special 20th Anniversary reception is just the beginning of the events we have in store to celebrate this milestone. Mark your calendars now to join us for special events happening this fall. On October 1, join us back at the Capitol to “Color It Pink” at the East Wing fountain. Come out to the Harrisburg Hilton on Monday, October 14 for the “Pink Party” evening reception honoring our Grassroots Partners and kicking off our 20th Anniversary Conference. On October 15, you’re invited to the PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference. Help us celebrate 20 years of working to find a cure for breast cancer now… so our daughters won’t have to.

For a list of upcoming 20th Anniversary events, click here.

 Click on the video below to see some of WGAL’s TV coverage of the 20th Anniversary event.

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS STRONG THUMBNAIL

 

Batter Up! Home Run Derby Season Around the Corner

Posted By on May 13th, 2013 at 9:04 am | 22 comments.

Batter upDo YOU have what it takes?  Join the fun and step up to the plate in this summer’s Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer Home Run Derby events.  The PBCC will visit 5 professional ballparks across the state during June and July, searching for the best team around.

What is a Home Run Derby?

The Home Run Derby consists of teams of four batters, or individual batters, competing to hit home runs in professional baseball parks. Each batter gets 15 swings. Batters are scored on a scale of 10 points for a fair ball hit in the infield to 100 points for a home run. Prizes are given to the team at each stadium with the highest point score, and to the statewide individual winner. In exchange for the per-team registration fee all event participants receive a batter’s jersey, program, souvenir team photo, goody bag and a great experience! To date, our dedicated teams have raised tens of thousands of dollars to support women and their families living with breast cancer in Pennsylvania.  Join our fight and sign up to bat, volunteer or sponsor today!

For more FAQs, click here.

 

Register Here button

 

 

New Breast Cancer Study Focuses on Lymphedema

Posted By on May 13th, 2013 at 8:58 am | 90 comments.

lymphedema studyDr. Kathryn Schmitz with the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center has conducted the Physical Activity and Lymphedema Trial (PAL Trial) which found that the frequency of lymphedema events was reduced in women who did weightlifting with their affected arm.

Now a new study known as the Women in Study Exercise Research Survivor Study (WISER Survivor), seeks to examine the effects of exercise and/or weight loss on lymphedema, which refers to an accumulation of fluid in the arm or torso that can result from changes to the lymph system after breast cancer treatment.  Scientists will also investigate risk factors for breast cancer and quality of life.  In this 12 month study, participants will be involved in an in-home Power Block exercise program and/or a complete diet weight loss intervention.

Researchers are looking for breast cancer survivors from Southeast Pennsylvania and neighboring counties of New Jersey who have lymphedema and might benefit from a weight loss and exercise program.  For more information about this study click here (link to study http://wiser2.med.upenn.edu/).  To inquire about participation in this study you can email Dr. Schmitz’s team at wiser2@mail.med.upenn.edu.

Survivor Stories: Jane Ellis – Dauphin County

Posted By on May 13th, 2013 at 8:57 am | 14 comments.

Jane Ellis and FamilyLast September,  I had what I thought would be a routine mammogram, but crystallized spots showed on the results. I had a biopsy and was then told that I needed to see a surgeon. The surgeon determined that it was DCIS and that I had two options…What to do?…either have the breast removed or have a partial mastectomy followed by radiation and five years of tamoxifen treatment. I left the office leaning towards having the breast completely removed, but I felt like I should get a second opinion first. The surgeon didn’t think a second opinion was necessary but said of course it was up to me.

I had the second opinion at Johns Hopkins. They looked at the test results and said it was atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), a pre-cancerous condition. The treatment they recommended was just the partial mastectomy. I had the surgery done there there and then a follow-up biopsy. That biopsy matched their initial diagnosis.

Then I worried for a time whether the first hospital or the second one was correct. I wasn’t convinced I’d made the right decision until my six-month follow-up appointment; I was completely clear. I think that following my instincts and having a second opinion was crucial in saving me unnecessary radiation and drug therapy.

My family was very supportive. I’ve been married for 23 years and have two wonderful daughters. I work in a fast-paced environment as assistant to the Vice President of Sales at HealthAmerica. For fun and relaxation, I travel to the Caribbean with a group of girlfriends. We’ve been doing that every year now for the past five years!