Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Fall Intern Wanted!

Posted By on March 7th, 2014 at 2:42 pm | 0 comments.

PBCC LOGOPA Breast Cancer Coalition Internship

The Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC) is currently looking for an intern to work in its Lebanon office this Fall (August – December 2014).  The PBCC offers a wide range of experience in all aspects of non-profit operations and programming, public relations and event management through assisting the Executive Director and other staff as needed.

Some duties may include, but not be limited to:

•    Work on the PBCC’s statewide educational and outreach programs:
o    Annual educational conference
o    Refunds for Research program
o    Traveling photo exhibit
o    Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer home run derby
o    Grassroots Partners events
•    Interact with local event committees, state agencies, legislative contacts, and media
•    Write press releases and articles as needed
•    Assist with design and graphics work

Applicants should possess:
•    Excellent written and verbal communication skills
•    Experience using Microsoft Office (Adobe Photoshop and InDesign experience preferred, but not required)
•    Ability to work independently and in a team setting
•    Excellent project management and organizational skills

The Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition is located at 2397 Quentin Road, Suite B, Lebanon, PA.  It was founded in 1993 and is the only statewide grassroots organization in Pennsylvania that speaks to and for breast cancer survivors.

The PBCC’s mission is to find a cure for breast cancer and to improve the quality of breast cancer education, research and outreach in the state.

Go to www.pabreastcancer.org  to learn more about the organization.

Contact name:      Jennifer Pensinger,  Executive Director
Jennifer@PABreastCancer.org
717-769-2303

This position has flexible hours. It can be for up to 28 hours per week and pays $10 an hour.   The length of the internship will vary depending on the student.

Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Calling for Participants

Posted By on February 28th, 2014 at 9:25 am | 0 comments.
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Drs. Edith Mitchell, Hallgeir Rui and their team of multidisciplinary researchers

An ongoing research program, led by Edith Mitchell, M.D., FACP, Clinical Professor of Medicine and Clinical Oncology at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson and Hallgeir Rui, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Cancer Biology, has initiated a new clinical trial at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University that offers a more customized and personalized approach to the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer. The trial, with lead investigators Drs. Tiffany Avery in the Department of Medical Oncology and Adam Berger in the Department of Surgery, offers treatment in the form of chemotherapy paired with a supplemental medication called a “Parp Inhibitor” and is designed to target the breast cancer cells to increase response to treatment and decrease the risk of recurrence. Researchers will conduct a randomized two-arm trial in 12-week cycles by administering different types of medicines in addition to chemotherapy.

Triple-negative breast cancer cells lack estrogen receptors and progesterone receptors, and do not have an excess of the HER2 protein on their surfaces. This type of breast cancer diagnosis is more prevalent in younger women and in African-American women. Triple-negative breast cancers tend to grow faster and more aggressively and spread to other parts of the body more quicker than most other types of breast cancer. Drs. Mitchell and Rui and their team of researchers are hoping to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of treatment for triple-negative breast cancer through this clinical trial.

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Dr. Edith Mitchell speaks with a patient at the Kimmel Cancer Center.

Clinical Trial Details:

An adaptive randomized Phase II Trial to determine pathologic complete response with the addition of carboplatin with and without veliparib to standard chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant treatment of triple-negative breast cancer
Study Design:  This is a randomized two-arm trial for the neoadjuvant treatment of triple breast cancer patients. The two arms for the trial are as follows:

1.    Paclitaxel and carboplatin (12 weekly cycles) with growth factor support followed by doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (4 cycles every 3 weeks) with growth factor support.

2.    Veliparib + paclitaxel + carboplatin (12 weekly cycles) with growth factor support fol

lowed by doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide (4 cycles every 3 weeks) with growth factor support.

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Drs. Edith Mitchell, Adam Berger & Hallgeir Rui

The primary objective of the study is to compare the pathologic complete response in patients with triple negative breast cancer treated with paclitaxel and carboplatin or paclitaxel, carboplatin, and veliparib in addition to standard

Dr. Avery

Dr. Tiffany Avery, a lead investigator in this clinical trial

chemotherapy  (adriamycin and cyclophosphamide).
Key Eligibility Criteria:
1. Histologically confirmed adenocarcinoma of the breast with the following markers: Estrogen receptor negative (<1%), progesterone receptor negative (<1%), and Her-2/neu negative (0, 1+ on IHC te

sting or 2+ and FISH ratio < 1.8) or adenocarcinoma identified as basal-like subtype on molecular profiling.
2.    Clinical stage IIA, IIB or stage IIIA, IIIB, or IIIC breast cancer with no prior treatment for this tumor.
3.   ECOG Performance Status of 0 or 1.

If you think you may be a potential candidate for this clinical study, please contact the study coordinator, Melisa Mordenti, at 215-955-8979.

Click on the video below for more details on this clinical trial.

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Focus Group Participants Needed!

Posted By on February 21st, 2014 at 12:17 pm | 0 comments.

PBCC-LOGO-for-webYOU can influence how information is presented to women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.

The PBCC has been invited to participate in a focus group.  We are looking for 10 volunteers to give their impressions of and opinions about a communication plan for a new cancer diagnostic test that can improve how chemotherapy drugs are dosed.  We would like input from breast cancer survivors; women who are newly diagnosed and undergoing breast cancer treatment; caregivers and advocates. The focus group will be held via webinar from the comfort of your home, on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 7 pm.  We expect it to last approximately one hour.  If you are interested in participating please click here to fill out a quick survey.

We need your feedback so that materials are created that are understandable to breast cancer patients and their families.  Please sign up today! If you have any questions please contact Jen Pensinger at jennifer@pabreastcancer.org.

Thank you in advance for your help!
Pat Halpin-Murphy
President & Founder

Breast Cancer and Cholesterol: What’s the Connection?

Posted By on February 17th, 2014 at 8:55 am | 0 comments.

cholesterol-screening-pic-for-webMany researchers thought there was no link between breast cancer and cholesterol but a new study published in the Breast Cancer Research Journal shows they may be connected.  Scientists at Johns Hopkins University looked at patients with high levels of HDL (“good’ cholesterol”).  Here’s what they found…

They found that those high levels can increase a patient’s chance of developing breast cancer cells.  The researchers also discovered that women who have high levels of HDL may have a greater risk of developing more aggressive types of breast cancer.

Researchers are now working on ways to block HDL receptors within the breast cancer cells in order to prevent the elevated risk.  Doctors recommend checking in with your primary care physician to ensure both “good” and “bad” cholesterol levels are in the normal range.

To read more on this study, click here: http://health.yahoo.net/experts/breastcancer/what-do-cholesterol-and-breast-cancer-have-do-one-another

Researchers: Breast Cancer Drug Cuts Risk in Half

Posted By on January 15th, 2014 at 8:38 am | 0 comments.

pill-bottles-for-webA clinical trial performed by Queen Mary University of London has found that taking the drug Anastrozole decreases the risk of breast cancer by 53% in high-risk, postmenopausal women.  Around 4,000 women from 18 countries were involved in the study and these women took the drug for five years.  So, what does “high-risk” mean?

Women were considered high-risk if they had certain types of benign breast disease, two or more blood relatives with the disease, a sister/mother who developed breast cancer before age 50, or had a sister/mother with breast cancer in both breasts.

Anastrozole works by stopping the body from making estrogen, a hormone that fuels the growth of many breast cancers.  This study revealed that anastrozole is more effective than tamoxifen, one of two drugs FDA-approved for breast cancer prevention, and has fewer side effects.  Researchers working on the study recommend that anastrozole be added to the recommended drugs for women who are predisposed to developing breast cancer.
To read the complete study, click here.

Got a Giving Spirit? You’re Probably Good-Looking, Too…

Posted By on December 16th, 2013 at 8:29 am | 0 comments.

heart-in-hands-image-for-webWhen it comes to donating your money or time to a charity of choice, do you ever wonder – what’s in it for you? According to an article published in the Wall Street Journal by Arthur Brooks, studies show that donors to charity are happier, healthier and handsome than those who choose not to give.

Researchers at the University of Chicago found that happiness and generosity go hand-in-hand.  Charitable givers are 43% more likely to say they are “very happy” when compared to nongivers.  The same goes for volunteering to nonprofits.  Scientists at the University of Buffalo studied hundreds of volunteers, finding that their charity work significantly lowered the association between stressful life events and death.

Dutch and British researchers surveyed students, showing them one of three videos featuring a handsome actor.  Those who saw the video of that actor donating to charity, the more good-looking he appeared.

According to the study, you can’t afford not to give, whether it’s a monetary donation or the donation of your time.  Take some time to support the causes you’re passionate about this holiday season.  You’ll be better off for it.

To read Arthur Brooks’ Wall Street Journal article in its entirety, click here.

Study: Many Southeastern PA Women Skipping Mammograms

Posted By on December 16th, 2013 at 8:29 am | 0 comments.

woman-getting-mammogram-imageThe Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) conducted an annual survey of women in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties, asking how long it had been since their last clinical breast exam/mammogram.  The findings were startling…

A clinical exam is a physical examination performed by a qualified doctor or nurse that looks for lumps or changes in the breast.  A mammogram is an x-ray that will produce an image of the breast that can detect lumps.  The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms starting at age 40 and clinical breast exams every three years for women in their 20s and 30s, and every year for women 40 and older.

The survey revealed that one-third of women in Southeastern Pennsylvania did not receive an annual preventative breast health screening (mammogram) in the past year.  One-third of women 18 years or older did not have a clinical breast exam in the past year.  Four in ten women ages 40 years or older did not have a mammogram in the past year.  Women 75 and older were the most likely to have missed a mammogram in the past year (44%), followed by women 60-74 (30%).
Asian women 40 years and older were more likely to have forgone a mammogram in the past year (52%), compared to White and Latina women (38%), versus Black women (30%), and women of another race/ethnicity (45%).  These statistics based on race were similar for mammograms and clinical breast exams.

Poverty level and access to care were also evaluated in this study.  Women 40 years and older who were below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level were more likely not to have had a mammogram in the past year (41%) compared to women who lived above the poverty level. (36%).   Women 18 years and older who did not have a regular source of care were twice as likely as women with a regular source of care to have forgone a breast exam in the past year.  Uninsured women 40+ were three times more likely to not have had a mammogram in the past year than those who were insured.

PHMC released this data as an annual campaign to increase awareness of breast cancer and to encourage early detection.  The results have clearly found that many women in Southeastern Pennsylvania have forgone an annual preventative breast health screening in the past year.

Click here to read the complete article on this study.

YOU Made it Happen! Governor Corbett has Signed the PBCC’s Breast Density Notification Act into Law!

Posted By on November 15th, 2013 at 8:42 am | 0 comments.

PBCC Staff and Governor ImageEarly detection saves lives. That’s why November 1, 2013 was such an important day for the women of Pennsylvania. As a perfect conclusion to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Governor Tom Corbett signed the PBCC’s Breast Density Notification Act into law, requiring mammography facilities to notify women and their physicians of their breast density.

This life-saving legislation, sponsored by Sen. Robert Mensch, brings attention to dense breast tissue and what it can mean. That dense tissue can increase a woman’s risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer at a later, more dangerous, less treatable stage. Many women with dense breast tissue do not know they have it, and a mammogram may not be enough to detect a lump or irregularity in the breast. The Breast Density Notification Act will change that. Now, mammography facilities will be required to alert their patients who have dense breast tissue and possibly offer information on additional screening options.

Thank you to the courageous women who were diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer because of their dense tissue who stood up and shared their brave stories with us over the past year. The PBCC also thanks Sen. Robert Mensch, Rep. Karen Boback, Rep. Matthew Baker, Rep. Mike Turzai and Rep. Frank Dermody for their leadership in the unanimous passage of the Breast Density Notification Act.

Thank you all for turning awareness into action!

The Breast Density Notification Act would not have passed without the support of our brave breast cancer survivors. Cindy Spinello of Union County was diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer last year. She had dense breasts and she didn’t know it. So, she decided to take action.

Click on the VIDEO below to hear more about her courageous journey to make an impact and what this legislation means for women in Pennsylvania.

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