Archive for the ‘Medical’ Category

Hot Flashes? Electroacupuncture Could be the Answer

Posted By on September 16th, 2015 at 8:22 am | 0 comments.

electroacupuncture-for-plA new study points to electroacupuncture as an effective treatment for hot flashes in women who received estrogen-targeted therapies for breast cancer. Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania studied 120 breast cancer survivors experiencing hot flashes on a daily basis. After 8 weeks, the patients receiving electroacupuncture showed greater results than those taking common drugs used to treat the symptoms.

What is electroacupuncture? Electroacupuncture is a procedure in which embedded needles deliver weak electrical currents to the body. According to the study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, patients say they experienced fewer hot flashes during the electroacupuncture than with other treatments.

To read the complete study results, click here.


What Do YOU Need to Know about Dense Breasts?

Posted By on August 17th, 2015 at 9:15 am | 0 comments.

woman with dense breasts for PLSo, you have dense breasts… what does that mean? What do you do now? A website, created by experts (including our 2015 Conference Pink Ribbon Awardee Dr. Wendie Berg) and breast cancer survivors, answers those questions and more. provides visitors with a clear picture of breast density along with materials you may find helpful when talking with your doctor like a breast cancer risk checklist, a screening chart, educational videos and more. offers the latest information, images and frequently asked questions for women who may want to learn more about what it means to have dense breasts.
To visit the site for patients, click here
To visit the site for medical professionals, click here.

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 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 | 1535 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 | 1567 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.