Archive for the ‘Medical’ Category

Affordable Care Act: Life Change and Your Coverage Status

Posted By on July 15th, 2015 at 12:16 pm | 0 comments.

Have you gotten married in the past 60 days? Had a baby? Lost healthcare coverage? If so, you may be eligible for a special enrollment periodHealth-Insurance-Marketplace for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment is currently closed, but life changes like a family move or new addition could qualify you to enroll for coverage in 2015.

Want to enroll?

Click here to fill out a short questionnaire and see if you qualify to enroll for health insurance coverage during the special enrollment period.  Questions? Visit Healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596,  24 hours a day, 7 days a week and learn more about your options.

Free Mammograms, Breast Exams and Pap Tests Available in PA

Posted By on July 15th, 2015 at 10:52 am | 0 comments.

Woman getting mammogram2The HealthyWoman program provides FREE early detection services for breast and cervical cancer. This Pennsylvania Department of Health program for uninsured women is funded through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To see if you are eligible, and to schedule an appointment, call 1-800-215-7494. HealthyWoman offers screening mammograms, pelvic exams and Pap tests, and follow-up diagnostic care.
If you have health insurance but have high deductibles or co-pays for these tests, you may qualify for help through HealthyWoman. For more information, click here.

Anastrozole Better for DCIS? Experts Say “Yes” in Some Cases

Posted By on June 15th, 2015 at 8:34 am | 0 comments.

Anastrazole-for-PLResearchers say anastrozole may be as effective, if not more effective, than tamoxifen when it comes to treating DCIS. A study conducted by NRG Oncology and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) monitored DCIS patients taking anastrozole and patients taking tamoxifen for 5 years. Women under the age of 60 taking anastrozole had a slightly higher rate of dissease-free survival than those taking tamoxifen.

Of those women participating in the study, 88.8 percent who took anastrozole remained disease-free compared with 81.5 percent of those who received tamoxifen.  Also according to the study, anastrozole demonstrated a favorable safety profile. There were 17 instances of uterine cancer in the tamoxifen group and 8 cases in the anastrozole group, although there were more occurrences of osteopathic fractures with anastrozole (69 events) than with tamoxifen (50 events).

To read the complete article on this study, click here.

No Insurance? FREE Breast Cancer Treatment is Available in PA

Posted By on June 15th, 2015 at 8:34 am | 0 comments.

free-treatmentDid you know that there is FREE breast cancer treatment available to you if you are uninsured or underinsured in Pennsylvania?
Women who qualify for the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment program (BCCPT) can receive free health care, including health care for medical needs unrelated to a breast or cervical cancer diagnosis, throughout their course of treatment for cancer or a pre-cancerous condition of the breast or cervix. Applicants must be Pennsylvania residents under the age of 65.
Anyone interested in learning more about the topic can take the PBCC’s FREE online course. Review real-life case studies and hear inspiring survivor stories. Nurses and social workers will earn two FREE continuing education credits.

The Cold Cap: Keeping your Hair During Chemo

Posted By on April 15th, 2015 at 8:28 am | 942 comments.

chemo-cap-associated-press-for-plWhen it comes to the side effects of breast cancer treatment, many women fear losing their hair the most. A popular new process could stop that from happening. Cancer patients are opting for the chemo “cold cap.” What is it? It’s a cap you wear during treatment and a few hours after that freezes the scalp and stops hair from falling out.

A study at the University of California, San Francisco monitored 100 women who received chemotherapy and used a cooling cap.  Results have not been published, but studies did show that a majority of the women kept most of their hair.  How does it work? The cold cap reduces chemotherapy-induced alopecia (hair loss) by cooling the hair capillaries and reducing the metabolic rate of the hair follicles to a hibernated state, preventing the absorption of chemotherapeutic drugs into the hair bulbs of the scalp.

The process can be costly, averaging around $600 per month for rental of the caps.  Most insurers do not cover the cost, but there have been cases where cooling caps are covered in lieu of wig costs.

To read the complete New York Times article on chemo cooling caps, click here.

Join the conversation! Is anyone using the cold cap? WOULD you use one?  Follow the PBCC on Facebook and Twitter and let us know!

Cost Concerns Over Shorter, High-dose Radiation Therapy Treatments

Posted By on March 16th, 2015 at 8:36 am | 998 comments.

radiation-therapyRecent studies suggest that shorter, high-dose radiation treatments can be just as effective as longer-range therapy regimens.  So, why aren’t more patients opting for them? According to doctors at Duke University Medical Center, that reason could be cost.

Duke’s research shows that fewer than 20 percent of patients with early invasive breast cancer who opted for breast-conserving surgery chose to receive the shorter hydrofractionated therapy instead of the more traditional therapy.  Researchers at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium reported that concerns over cost could be the reason shorter, high-dose therapies aren’t catching on.  They also note that about 10 percent of patients at community facilities have access to the hydrofractionated radiation and some 15 percent of patients treated at comprehensive community cancer centers received the treatment.
You can read more about short course radiation therapy in the latest edition of the PBCC’s Frontline Newsletter here.

To read more about this study online, click here.

Expensive Prescriptions? Assistance Programs Available for Families

Posted By on March 16th, 2015 at 8:36 am | 826 comments.

prescription-helpMany pharmaceutical companies offer Patient Assistance Programs for the prescription medications they manufacture. Patients who are uninsured or underinsured may qualify to receive free or discounted drugs for breast cancer treatment and other family medical needs. Needy Meds provides a user-friendly list of the companies’ assistance programs with details about how to apply.

On the Needy Meds website, search by the name of your prescription medication to see if an assistance program is offered.  Also, Pennsylvania’s prescription assistance programs for older adults, PACE, PACENET and PACE plus Medicare, offer low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. For more information, call the PA Department of Aging at 1-800-225-7223.

Breast Cancer Death Rates Decline Drastically Over 20 Years

Posted By on February 16th, 2015 at 8:29 am | 843 comments.

Breast-Cancer-Survival-for-PLIn the past 20 years, breast cancer death rates have dropped dramatically.  According to the latest government statistics, breast cancer deaths decreased by 34 percent between 1990 and 2011 and experts believe that number has continued to drop over the past 4 years.  Why the decrease?

Researchers say death rates from breast cancer have declined due to better treatment, greater awareness, and more women getting mammograms.  New medicines in the past 20 years, such as targeted chemotherapy and Tamoxifen, have contributed to increasing breast cancer survival.  Today, there is an increasing trend toward individualized medicine as doctors learn more about tumors and the effectiveness of personalized medicine.  Additionally in the past 20 years, more women are becoming aware of the disease and are going to the doctors when something seems suspicious.  Many are hopeful that this downward trend will continue and even more women will survive a breast cancer diagnosis.

Click here to read the full article.