Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Volunteer Profile: Thank You Alice Sanders!

Posted By on April 10th, 2014 at 8:34 am | 0 comments.

Alice SandersI have served on the board of the PBCC for 20 yrs. as the VP, South Central Region which covers Lancaster, Harrisburg, York, Carlisle, Williamsburg and surrounding areas. In this capacity, I have participated as a strong advocate for women diagnosed with breast cancer.  I have personally walked beside women as they journeyed through the diagnosis, treatment and recovery stages of breast cancer. I am one of the original participants in the “67 Women, 67 Counties” photo exhibit. I have provided a voice to support the mission of the PBCC of “Finding a Cure for Breast Cancer” so our daughters won’t have to. 

How did you first get involved volunteering with us?

My first involvement with the PBCC began in 1994 (a year after my diagnosis with breast cancer in May 1993) when I assisted the first executive director with the PBCC Mother’s Day Mammogram Program (a program no longer needed because the PBCC secured legislation for the Healthy Woman Program). I joined the board in October 1994.

What would you say is the best part of volunteering with PBCC?

The best part of volunteering with the PBCC is the broad outreach to women in the State of PA.  I am so proud of the work that we do to advance research and to secure legislation to fight the disease of breast cancer.

Any advice for someone who is thinking about volunteering but hasn’t yet taken the plunge to do so?

Anyone looking for meaningful volunteer work should consider joining the PBCC.  We need more grass root partners to assist us with fund raising to advance research.  We need community voices throughout the State of PA to help us push forward legislation to empower women with up-to-date treatments. The PBCC is unique because we are a “state-wide” breast cancer group representing the 67 counties in PA. 

Any volunteering memory/short story you’d like to share?

My most memorable story that I’ve shared over the past 20 years is: While lying in my hospital bed at Lancaster General Hospital in June 1993, the night before my breast cancer surgery, I saw on WGAL-TV 8 our President, Pat Halpin-Murphy, and the founders of the PBCC exclaiming with fierce determination that they were organizing to find a cure for breast cancer.  The visual image of their fight to advance research for breast cancer was God’s way of speaking to me to help me find a purpose for my diagnosis.  I have used my affliction as a platform to help other women.  

Volunteer Profile: Thank You Dr. Jill Herr!

Posted By on April 8th, 2014 at 8:23 am | 0 comments.

Jill HerrI’ve been a volunteer since last summer (2013), and I help put together the Friends Like Me care packages. I also represented the organization at a health fair at Millersville University in October 2013.

How did you first get involved volunteering with us?

After being diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2012, I was looking up information on the internet and came across the PABCC website. I was impressed by the work the PABCC is doing and wanted to help if possible.

What would you say is the best part of volunteering with PBCC?

The staff members are great. Also, knowing that the care packages have really been appreciated by the recipients is quite rewarding.

Any advice for someone who is thinking about volunteering but hasn’t yet taken the plunge to do so?

Try it out. I’ve been impressed by how many people have benefitted from the support that the PABCC provides, and there are so many ways to help out. I’ve had a lot of fun helping out.

Any volunteering memory/short story you’d like to share?

A couple of months ago I put together a care package for a young survivor. She wrote back and said that it meant so much for her and was just what she needed. It really feels great to know that I could help someone in that way.

Want to volunteer with the PA Breast Cancer Coalition?  Click here.

Volunteer Profile: Thank You Karen Byers!

Posted By on April 7th, 2014 at 8:28 am | 0 comments.

Karen CroppedHow long have you been a PA Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC) volunteer?

I have been a volunteer with the PBCC since its inception.   The first thing I did was collect signatures on petitions requesting increased funding for breast cancer research.  These petitions were then taken to Washington (there was a big march to the White House).  Several members of our support group (the ABC’S) handed out material at the first Conference.  From that time forward, my husband and I filled the first tote bags that were distributed at the Conference; thereafter, the ABC’S graduated from my family room to a local store front (at a mall owned by Crown America, a former sponsor of PBCC), and then, for the past 12 years, at our church (First United Church of Christ in Carlisle).

From the first conference until the present, the ABC’S have “manned” the registration tables each year.   In addition, I have participated in the preparation of several photo exhibits and worked at health fairs distributing PBCC information/literature and free handouts.  I have also participated in several PBCC promotional videos over the past 20 years.

How did you first get involved volunteering with us?

I was invited to attend a meeting at WGAL-TV8 in Lancaster for a new breast cancer organization – my first introduction to the PBCC.  From that day on, I was hooked on becoming a volunteer and doing whatever I could to help promote breast cancer awareness.

What would you say is the best part of volunteering with PBCC?

The wonderful people I have had an opportunity to meet:  The incredible PBCC staff (small, but mighty) and volunteers, the wonderful women who attend the Conference each year, the one-on-one conversations with women and men whom I have met at the various health fairs and exhibits.  Being an advocate for breast cancer awareness has afforded me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful women who continue to inspire me.

The very best part of volunteering is that my daughter and granddaughter have begun volunteering at Conference – having the opportunity to share my passion and to see that they share the same passion as I for breast cancer advocacy.

PBCC2010_0100Any advice for someone who is thinking about volunteering but hasn’t yet taken the plunge to do so?

I volunteer, thinking I can be of help to someone else; however, I feel I am the one coming away learning from everyone else.  Volunteering with the PBCC is truly a wonderful experience that makes you feel as though you are really doing something to promote breast cancer awareness.  As much as is written regarding breast cancer issues, etc., it is amazing how many women there are who are not informed or know about the programs offered through the PBCC and how fortunate are the women of this Commonwealth, where breast cancer is concerned (free mammography, free treatment, the funds donated for research, etc.).  WE  MUST continue to make women aware of these programs and provide opportunities for involvement and advocacy.

Any volunteering memory/short story you’d like to share?

Many years ago, I was with a group of volunteers who visited legislators in Harrisburg, knocking on their office doors and introduced ourselves.  Not being a public personality, I was terrified; however, I always think if I can help just one woman in her journey with breast cancer, anything I can do is well worth doing whatever needs to be accomplished.  After the first introduction, I relaxed and found it exhilarating as I stated my cause.  I have always felt that my volunteering with the PBCC has given me wings to soar to unknown heights and do whatever is necessary to help find a cure…so our daughters won’t have to.

Want to volunteer with the PA Breast Cancer Coalition?  Click here.

Time to Quit? Young Smokers Linked to Increased Breast Cancer Risk

Posted By on March 14th, 2014 at 8:23 am | 8 comments.

Woman-Smoking-photoA study recently published in the journal Cancer conducted by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, found that younger women who have smoked a pack a day for the last 10 years have a 60% higher risk of developing estrogen-positive breast cancer.

In contrast, the study did not find a link between smoking and triple-negative breast cancer, which is a type of breast cancer that does not have estrogen and progesterone receptors.  The study included nearly 1,000 cancer-free women, as well as 778 people with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer and 182 people with triple-negative breast cancer between ages 20 and 44 who were diagnosed between 2004 and 2010.

Read an article on the complete study here.

Breast Cancer Mortality Rate Shows Troubling Racial Divide

Posted By on March 14th, 2014 at 8:22 am | 8 comments.

African-American-Woman-StudyNew research shows that African-American women are, on average, 40 times more likely to lose their battle with breast cancer than white women.  The startling study examined findings compiled by experts at the Sinai Urban Health Institute in Chicago and the Avon Foundation for Women.  The reason?

Researchers analyzed data from black women in 41 cities across the country with breast cancer. Researchers say the difference can be explained by lower access to health screening, lower-quality screening, less access to treatment and low-quality treatment for African-American women in urban environments.

The study also found that death rates for both black and white women with breast cancer have declined over the past 20 years, but death rates among white women saw a much more dramatic decrease over that same time period.

Read the complete article here.

Fall Intern Wanted!

Posted By on March 7th, 2014 at 2:42 pm | 29 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 | 180 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.

Researchers-thumbnail-with-play-button

 

Focus Group Participants Needed!

Posted By on February 21st, 2014 at 12:17 pm | 6 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