Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Study Finds Third Gene Related to Breast Cancer

Posted By on August 15th, 2014 at 8:48 am | 86 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 | 3482 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 | 9 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 | 57 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 | 52 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.

Pregnant and Diagnosed with Breast Cancer? Help is Available.

Posted By on April 15th, 2014 at 8:32 am | 30 comments.

pregnant-woman-pic-for-PLFor some women, the happiest time in their lives is complicated by the scariest times in their lives when pregnant women are diagnosed with cancer. There is help available.

Dr. Elyce Cardonick, a Maternal Fetal Medicine physician at Cooper University Health Care maintains a cancer and childbirth registry/data base of all pregnant women diagnosed with cancer and with each patient’s permission, reviews their cancer treatment and pregnancy outcomes. What is unique about this data base, The Cancer and Pregnancy Registry, is that the children are not only followed up until birth, but on an ongoing yearly basis. Pregnant women diagnosed with cancer find the registry helpful in learning how many other pregnant women were diagnosed and treated for the same cancer during pregnancy. Patient data is kept confidential. It is a valuable contribution to the oncological and obstetrical knowledge base for pregnant women with cancer.
If you would be interested in contributing your information to the data base to advance the knowledge about cancer and pregnancy, please contact Dr. Cardonick directly. She can send you information and a consent form explaining the data base. Your health, and the health of your child, will be followed periodically.

You may reach Dr. Cardonick and find out the details about participating in The Cancer and Pregnancy Registry at www.cancerandpregnancy.com or by calling her at 1-877-635-4499 (toll free) or at 1-856-342-2491. A message may also be left on her private voicemail at 1-856-757-7876.

Breast Cancer Researchers Need Your Help. Take Action Today!

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

clinical-trials-pic-for-PLFederal funding cuts could soon shutter access to clinical trials for thousands of cancer patients across the country.  The National Cancer Institute has decided to end funding for federal-funded clinical trials in the community setting.  How can YOU help?

According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, researchers will either be forced to shut down existing clinical trials or cancel planned new trials.  Unless the National Cancer Institute continues to fund current clinical trials and future trials, potential breakthroughs in cancer treatment may be halted.  Here’s where YOU come in.  We urge anyone passionate about finding a cure for breast cancer to contact their U.S. Senators and representatives in U.S. Congress to alert them of this important and urgent issue.  Tell them to demand continued funding for cancer clinical trials from the National Cancer Institute. Thank you for taking action with us!

To find your U.S. Representative, click here.

To contact U.S. Senator Bob Casey, click here.
To contact U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, click here.

Volunteer Profile: Thank You Wayne G. Harvey!

Posted By on April 11th, 2014 at 9:01 am | 0 comments.

WaynepicFor the last seven or eight years I’ve volunteered at the PBCC Conference, working the merchandising counter but mostly handing out totebags.  I was also part of a group who recorded a Peace/Christmas CD whose proceeds benefited the Coalition.

 How did you first get involved volunteering with us?
A very good friend of mine works for the coalition.  After she explained to me all the good the Coalition does in the state of Pennsylvania, I felt privileged to help in whatever way I could, whether it be volunteering or spreading the word about this amazing bunch of women whose fight it is to raise awareness and advocate on behalf of the women in this state.

What would you say is the best part of volunteering with PBCC?
I always feel a humbling sense of accomplishment when I watch the PBCC staff work to make putting on this big conference look so easy.  Most people don’t understand all the effort that goes in to presenting the conference, and how many long and sleepless hours these brave and unyielding women put in to make it happen.  Knowing that even in some small way I help to make that process easier makes me feel good about myself.

Any advice for someone who is thinking about volunteering but hasn’t yet taken the plunge to do so?
Do it!  It’s such a small sacrifice of time and energy, but you feel like you’re part of something so much larger, and become part of an effort that means so much to so many people.  Every day we take for granted organizations like the PBCC.  And though there are so many organizations that involve breast cancer, there are none that spend the time advocating for women’s rights and health issues like the Coalition.  That is what’s truly important in the state of our union.  You can raise all the money you want for cancer research, and, yes, that’s a very important thing, but you still need to address the day-to-day hurdles that women face while dealing with this dreaded illness.  That’s the strength of the Coalition, and that’s their purpose.