Archive for the ‘Patient Advocacy’ Category

FREE Summer Camp Open to PA Kids Affected by Cancer

Posted By on June 16th, 2014 at 8:45 am | 188 comments.

Camp-Kesem-picCamp Kesem, a summer camp for kids with a parent who has (or has had) cancer, is now accepting applications! The one-week sleep away camps are a chance for children ages 6-16 to have a fun-filled week and just be kids. Everything at Camp Kesem focuses on the goal of giving campers the best week of their lives, while providing the extra support and attention they need.

Camp Kesem empowers college student leaders nationwide to create free, FUN summer camps for children affected by a parent’s cancer.  There are two locations offered here in Pennsylvania:

Camp Kesem Central PA – Fort Washington
http://campkesem.org/centralpa/about-our-camp

Camp Kesem at UPenn – Philadelphia area
http://campkesem.org/upenn

Learn more about the Camp Kesem experience in the video below:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cEDBQLhdSY#t=29

The “A Day at Camp” link provides an overview of a typical day your child might expect:
http://campkesem.org/parents-campers/a-day-at-camp

Targeted Breast Cancer Therapy Study Calling for Participants

Posted By on May 15th, 2014 at 10:14 am | 167 comments.

Are you currently undergoing breast cancer treatment? A new study is looking for survivors who are taking either Afinitor breast-cancer-study-for-PL Tykerb. Researchers want to learn more about the patient experience including daily nutrition and any side effects they may be noticing. Want to learn more?

GlaxoSmithKline’s Focus on the Patient team is conducting this study of oncology patients.  To be eligible, you must be:

•    Currently taking one of these medications – Afinitor or Tykerb – as part of treatment regimen for at least the past two months

•    Available to participate in on-on-one interviews on one of the following dates:  May 19, 20 or 21 to be conducted in Collegeville, PA or via Skype or telephone.

•    Willing to discuss daily nutrition and any side effects experienced as a result of this treatment as well as its effects on quality of life

Researchers are hoping to gain insight into any changes for patients related to the treatment.  If you are interested in volunteering for this study, please contact Kay Warner at kay.j.warner@gsk.com or call the PBCC at 800-377-8828.

Financial Assistance Available for Younger Cancer Survivors

Posted By on May 15th, 2014 at 10:14 am | 142 comments.

Help-for-young-survivors-for-PLIf you are under the age of 39 and have completed your treatment for breast cancer, you may qualify for a grant from Surviving And Moving Forward: the SAMFund for Young Adult Survivors of Cancer. The SAMFund provides financial assistance to young adults (ages 21-39) to empower survivors to achieve their educational, professional and personal goals. Grants cover a wide range of needs including medical bills, rent, utilities, gym memberships and transportation costs.
The two-part process begins in June with Part 1 of the application. Approved applicants submit Part 2 in November. Instructions for grant application are at http://www.thesamfund.org/grants/

FREE eBook: “Breast Cancer Basics”

Posted By on May 6th, 2014 at 10:00 am | 153 comments.

Breast-Cancer-Basics-PicThe PA Breast Cancer Coalition has compiled a “Breast Cancer Basics” book with helpful information on types of breast cancer, stages, treatments, nutrition and more.  It’s everything you need to know including tips for talking with your doctor and what to do if you don’t have insurance.  Download your copy, free of charge here.

If you know someone who has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, request a free Friends Like Me care package for them from the PBCC.  Fill out the online form by clicking here and a box full of resources and small gifts will be on its way.

Pregnant and Diagnosed with Breast Cancer? Help is Available.

Posted By on April 15th, 2014 at 8:32 am | 179 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 | 102 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.

Do You Need Time Off from Work for Breast Cancer Treatment?

Posted By on March 14th, 2014 at 8:23 am | 140 comments.

Woman-and-doctor-chemoThe Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave. Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles.

The U.S. Department of Labor website  provides details on the law and what your rights are under the Family Medical Leave Act. You can find more information and a sample letter requesting time off under FMLA in the toolkit section of the PBCC insurance guidebook “Breast Cancer: Covered or Not?”.

You can download the PBCC insurance guidebook for FREE here.

Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Calling for Participants

Posted By on February 28th, 2014 at 9:25 am | 6528 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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