Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Color it Pink this October 1 to Honor Survivors, Families

Posted By on September 15th, 2014 at 3:34 pm | 0 comments.

Pink-Fountain-for-PLThe PA Breast Cancer Coalition invites you to kick off National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with us Wednesday, October 1 at 11:00am in Harrisburg at the State Capitol East Wing Fountain. Together we will turn the Fountain pink in honor of survivors and families fighting breast cancer across our state.  Can you be there?

Throughout the entire month of October, the fountain will serve as a reminder to all women of the importance of good breast health and the need for annual mammograms. Over the years, the pink fountain has also become a beacon of hope for the hundreds of thousands of survivors across the Commonwealth that one day we will find a cure for breast cancer… so our daughters won’t have to. This event is made possible by the incredible support of the PA Department of General Services.
Color it Pink with the PBCC on Wednesday, October 1 at 11:00am outside the State Capitol East Wing Fountain on Commonwealth Avenue.  We hope to see you there!

Medicaid Expansion to Provide Coverage for Thousands in PA

Posted By on September 15th, 2014 at 3:33 pm | 0 comments.

Medicaid-Expansion-for-PlEffective January 1, more than 400,000 low-income Pennsylvania residents will be eligible to receive new healthcare coverage through Medicaid. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have approved an expansion of Medicaid through an amended version of the Healthy PA program for Pennsylvanians who meet certain income criteria. Who does the new ruling cover?

Medicaid expansion covers individuals and families with incomes below 138% of the federal poverty level.  For example, a single Pennsylvania resident earning less than $16,105 will qualify to receive free coverage.  A family of two earning less than $21,707 would also benefit from the expanded coverage.

Enrollment for coverage under the Healthy PA expansion will open December 1 and effective January 1.  The coverage can be retroactive to help with medical bills incurred in the past three months prior.

For more information on Pennsylvania’s expansion of Medicaid click here.

 

Research Breakthrough: Blood Test Detects Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Posted By on September 15th, 2014 at 3:33 pm | 0 comments.

Blood-vials-for-PLScientists in Israel say they have developed the first blood test for the early detection of breast cancer.  This test is called Octavia Pink and is currently available in Israel and Italy.  What about here in the U.S.?

In the U.S., Octavia Pink is undergoing clinical trials in order to receive FDA approval.  The test works by looking at antibodies in the blood.  In addition to this test, EventusDx has developed a new technology that can process 96 blood samples at one time and takes no more than 3 hours.  This technology allows a woman’s doctor to rule out or confirm a diagnosis very quickly.  Researchers say the Octavia Pink test has proven to be more accurate at detecting breast cancer than mammograms.  Results of the Israeli study show that the test correctly diagnosed 95% of healthy women and 75% of women with breast cancer.

To read the complete article, click here.

Study Finds Third Gene Related to Breast Cancer

Posted By on August 15th, 2014 at 8:48 am | 0 comments.

ResearchersforwebThe two genes that have historically been linked with an increased risk of breast cancer are the BRCA1 and BRCA 2 genes.  Now, researchers at the University of Cambridge have found a third gene called PALB2 that raises the risk of breast cancer almost as much as BRCA1 and BRCA2.

Many genetic tests already check for the PALB2 gene, but it was unclear to what extent this gene increased the risk of breast cancer.  By age 70, women with BRCA1 mutations have a 50-70% chance of developing breast cancer and those with BRCA2 have a 40-60% chance.  If there is a mutation in the PALB2 gene, women have a 35% chance of developing breast cancer by age 70.

Research also found that women with the PALB2 gene have a slightly higher risk of developing triple-negative breast cancer, which is resistant to hormone treatment, more aggressive, and more likely to recur than other types of breast cancer.  Official guidelines do not recommend that women have genetic testing unless they have a family history, but the principal investigator on this new research, Dr. Marc Tischkowitz, said that, “such women should consider testing for PALB2 mutations if they are negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2.”

Read the complete New York Times article on this research: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/07/health/gene-indicator-breast-cancer-risk.html?_r=0

Study: 3-D Mammograms More Accurate in Detecting Invasive Breast Cancer

Posted By on July 11th, 2014 at 12:51 pm | 0 comments.
3-D-Mammography-Dr.-Conant2

Dr. Emily Conant, chief of breast imaging at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center calls 3-D mammography “a big step forward.”

According to a new study, 3-D mammograms may be better at detecting invasive tumors and avoiding false alarms than regular mammograms alone.  Researchers studied data from 13 U.S. hospitals and found that 3D screenings increased breast cancer detection rates more than 40 percent.

The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, also show a 15 percent decrease in women who had to return for further testing.  Right now, 3D mammograms are not covered by most insurance companies and typically cost an extra $50 – $100.  Researchers are hoping that will change in the future.  Doctors involved with the study say, after years of a one-size-fits-all approach, these findings could lead to more tailored recommendations for women.

For the complete article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, click here.

FREE Webinars Coming this Month

Posted By on June 2nd, 2014 at 10:56 am | 0 comments.

Webinar-Graphic-for-PinkLink     Ask the Expert!  The PA Breast Cancer Coalition will expand its educational programs and services this June with the launch of FREE Webinars for survivors and advocates. The first presentation, offered Tuesday, June 24 at 7:00pm, will be “Understanding Your Breast Cancer Reconstruction Options” hosted by Dr. Joseph Serletti, Chief of Plastic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.
Dr. Serletti plans to focus on the latest in breast and nipple reconstruction options as well as how to best prepare for surgery and post-operation recovery. He will also be available to answer questions during the webinar. Anyone interested in learning more about this topic is invited to join us for this unique educational opportunity, free of charge.

Click-here-to-register-button

PBCC’s Rainy Day To-Do List

Posted By on April 30th, 2014 at 11:32 am | 0 comments.

Rainy-Day-To-do-list

April Showers just won’t seem to let up (at least at the PBCC office in Lebanon)!  If you’re battling the rainy day blues, check out our to-do list for days like this:

1.  Schedule your mammogram!  Don’t put it off.  Early detection saves lives.  No insurance?  Check out PA’s Healthy Woman program here.

2.  Start a new book.  Rainy days are perfect for reading.  Look through our list of favorites in the PBCC book club here.

3.  Sign up to volunteer.  The PA Breast Cancer Coalition and its Grassroots Partners host events year-round to support survivors, their families and breast cancer researchers including the upcoming Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer Home Run Derby.  Click here for more information.

4.  Be Inspired.  Browse our online photo exhibit, 67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania for quotes and photos from brave women all across the state.  The exhibit will be on display starting this Thursday, May 1 in Westmoreland County.  Join us! Details here.

5.  Break a sweat!  Hitting the gym is a great stress-reliever and we all know it’s good for our health.  If you’re a survivor, find out if there are any free programs in your area like the Pink Complete program at Lebanon YMCA.

6.  Take a nap.  Catching some extra Zzzs can be just what you need to recharge.

7.  Share Your Story.  Every breast cancer survivor has a unique journey.  Share yours with us and inspire other women just like you.  Click here to send us your story.

8.  Grab coffee with a friend.  If you don’t feel like going out, order in.  Chick Coffee has a whole line of products that support our cause.  Check ‘em out here.

9.  Two words – Bubble. Bath.

10.  Eat up.  Try a new recipe or whip up some comfort food.  Looking for something yummy and healthy?  Check out the Silver Pen blog for something fresh and new.  Bonus: It’s written by a breast cancer survivor who also shares some great stories and tips to navigate a diagnosis.

Federal Law Allows Patient Access to Lab Test Results

Posted By on April 15th, 2014 at 8:32 am | 0 comments.

lab-results-pic-for-PLA new federal rule announced by the Department of Health and Human Services requires clinical laboratories to allow patients access to their own lab-test results upon request.  Officials say this type of information can empower patients to track their health progress and make decisions with health-care providers.  What does it mean for you?

Some physician groups including the American Medical Association expressed concern regarding how patients would react to test results without a doctor’s explanation.  The law gives labs 30 days to comply with a patient request so there is time for physicians to contact patients first.
Studies show that nearly a quarter of all abnormal lab results are not communicated to patients in a timely manner.  This may be an oversight from doctor’s offices, but patients may assume that their results are normal if they do not hear from their provider.  This new ruling is a way to decrease this occurrence and allow patients another means of accessing their test results.  The ruling does not mean that providers are no longer responsible for sharing test results with patients, it is a key that they share the results and communicate exactly what those results mean to patients and their health.

To read the complete Wall Street Journal article published on the law, click here.