Archive for the ‘Pink Link’ Category

President’s Corner: American Cancer Society Clarifies Mammogram Recommendations

Posted By on January 15th, 2016 at 10:03 am | 0 comments.

patheadshotforplby Pat Halpin-Murphy, President and Founder

You may recall, in October, the American Cancer Society (ACS) issued new mammography guidelines which raised concerns, especially for us here at the PA Breast Cancer Coalition. The ACS recommendations suggest women begin annual mammograms at age 45 and every other year beginning at age 55. The PA Breast Cancer Coalition believes that starting mammograms at 40 is the gold standard. Another concern with the ACS recommendations was the possibility that insurance companies could use the guidelines as an opportunity to eliminate free mammograms for many women.

We know that Pennsylvania insurance agency representatives have already indicated their desire to roll back PA’s guarantee of free mammograms for state-insured women.

In response, Dr. Richard Wender, Chief Cancer Control Officer for the American Cancer Society sent a letter addressing our concerns to the PA Secretary of Health and PA Insurance Commissioner, clarifying the intent of the latest mammography guidelines.

Dr-Wender-quote-2The letter further explains the ACS recommendations, stressing the importance of a woman’s consultation with her doctor. The PBCC applauds and thanks the American Cancer Society for adressing these concerns, for providing a more in-depth explanation of its screening guidelines and for making it clear that they, in no way, support removing current insurance coverage for women 40 to 45 in our state.

Read the complete letter from Dr. Richard Wender on behalf of the American Cancer Society here.

UPDATE: The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force released its latest mammography guidelines, recommending women begin screening at age 50. The PBCC strongly diagrees. Click here to read our press release.

Making a Difference through 3D Mammogram Coverage in PA

Posted By on January 15th, 2016 at 9:59 am | 0 comments.

3d-mammogram-for-plAt our October Conference, Pennsylvania became the first state in the nation to include 3D mammogram coverage at no cost to women insured under PA law. Now, effective December 5, 3D mammograms are also available at no cost to women covered by Medicaid in our state. Incredible good news!

The PBCC spoke with Deputy Secretary of the Office of Medical Assistance Programs Leesa Allen about what you need to know and what this means for women’s health care Pennsylvania.  Click the play button below to learn more:

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Surviving Breast Cancer, One Stitch at a Time

Posted By on January 15th, 2016 at 9:56 am | 0 comments.
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Survivor Heidi Kelly makes beautiful handbags. This month, she is donating a portion of her sales to the PBCC!

Heidi Kelly, Berks County

Four years ago I saw something on my breast … not a lump, a dent. I thought it was a bruise but it wasn’t going away. After a while I kind of knew what it was but I didn’t want to think about it. At that time Giuliana Rancic of E! Entertainment News was going through breast cancer treatment and whenever I saw her I thought maybe I should go get this checked…

When I finally told my husband he freaked out. Michael’s mom had breast cancer and he stayed up half the night talking to his sisters who are in the medical field. He called my doctor in the morning and said we’re going to get this checked. I didn’t want to go because it was our anniversary and I didn’t want to ruin the day.

I had a biopsy and a few days later it was confirmed that I had breast cancer. My husband did the research because reading about it made me too upset. The surgeon wanted to save my breasts but I didn’t want them. I just wanted to get rid of them. I had a double mastectomy and full reconstruction. Then I went on my merry way and was good for two years. Two years almost to the day I found a lump on my scar which the plastic surgeon at first thought might be a suture, but the result was breast cancer again.

During this time, I was sewing and learning how to make handbags. I was using other people’s patterns and then I started creating my own patterns. Strangers on the street started complimenting me on them and whenever I posted photos of the bags on Facebook friends would ask for them. Michael said we might want to try to turn this into a business and HKelly designs was born. Whenever I felt good enough I was sewing. My sewing machine became my therapist. This month, I’m selling handmade items on my website with proceeds going to the PA Breast Cancer Coalition!

This experience taught me that I’m stronger than I ever thought I was. I’ve always been considered an emotional type who cries at TV commercials. I was outspoken though about my breast cancer and several friends had mammograms after I talked about it openly with them. My new motto is live life now; don’t wait for tomorrow. Tomorrow might not come and not necessarily because of breast cancer. Be the individual who you are. Keeping in mind that tomorrow might not come, my husband and I travel all the time now. Las Vegas is a favorite place; in fact, we were married there in 2007 and we’ve gone back twice this year. We were in Italy last spring and we are headed to Alaska next spring!

To check out Heidi’s designs, click here.

Scholarship Available to Erie Student Touched by Breast Cancer

Posted By on January 15th, 2016 at 9:54 am | 0 comments.

Strings-for-a-cure-scholarshipStringsforaCURE is offering a $1,000 Educational Scholarship to help an Erie County student whose family has been touched by a breast cancer diagnosis.
The award is a one time, non-renewable scholarship in the amount of $1,000.  Payment will be made payable directly to the winner’s selected post graduate institution. Applicants should be graduating in May/June 2016 from an Erie County high school, charter school, or home school and live within a 60-mile radius of Erie PA.
Entries must be received by April 30, 2016.

For the application and further details, click here.

Fastpitch for a Purpose Focused on Striking Out Breast Cancer

Posted By on January 15th, 2016 at 9:40 am | 0 comments.
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Pictured in photo: Organizer Stephanie Lux with her daughter Brooke Bosley, James Stonebraker, Sr., Kristen Snoke of the PBCC and Deena Pace.

Players, parents and patrons of Fastpitch for a Purpose came together in a huge way this past October, knocking it out of the park for the 4th consecutive year. Led by coordinator and creator, Stephanie Lux, this event raised $12,500 for the PBCC’s programs and services to help breast cancer survivors!

Every year, Stephanie rallies the youth in Shrewsbury, York County, to team up in the battle against breast cancer. Girls ages 8-18 play in this 2-day softball tournament, many of them in honor of a loved one who has been touched by breast cancer. The girls leave feeling inspired and passionate about the cause, knowing that they made a difference by doing something as simple as playing a game that they love.

Since 2012, this incredible community-wide fundraiser has contributed over $40,000 to the PBCC and helped spread awareness regarding our free resources. If you would like to get involved with this event, please visit their Facebook page here, and save the date for this year’s tournament: October 1-2, 2016!

President’s Corner: PA Medicaid Now Covers 3D Mammograms for Women

Posted By on December 15th, 2015 at 10:52 am | 0 comments.

patheadshotforplBy Pat Halpin-Murphy, President & Founder

Have you heard? Not only are 3D mammograms covered for women insured under Pennsylvania law, they are now covered for women insured by PA Medicaid. As of December 1, 2015, PA Medicaid participants are eligible to receive 3D mammograms at the same coverage level as traditional 2D mammograms.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, “tomosynthesis (3D mammograms) is becoming more common as many health care 3d-mammogram-for-plfacilities in this Commonwealth are replacing 2D mammography technology with 3D mammography technology, offering new opportunities to diagnose breast cancer and providing life-saving treatment earlier than ever.”

Thanks to the commitment of Governor Tom Wolf and First Lady Frances Wolf, Pennsylvania became the first state in the nation to consider 3D mammograms exactly what they are: mammograms. On October 5, 2015 at the PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference, First Lady Frances Wolf announced that insurers must cover 3D mammograms at no cost to women over the age of 40. The move clarifies an existing law that the PA Breast Cancer Coalition worked to pass in the 1990s.

Thanks to YOUR help, 3D mammograms are now covered for women insured by PA Medicaid. As of October 5, 2015, insurers covered under state law are also offering 3D mammogram coverage. We’re honored to take action with you!

Powerful Grassroots Partners Make Impact Across Pennsylvania

Posted By on December 15th, 2015 at 10:52 am | 0 comments.

Tatatrot2015You. YOU are the reason the PA Breast Cancer Coalition is able to help breast cancer survivors, support their families, advocate for the women of Pennsylvania and award research grants to outstanding scientists in our state.

Grassroots Partners continue to amaze us with their creative ways to make an impact. You’ve organized walks, dress-down days, football games, tea parties – even a boatload of bras!  You’ve opened the doors to your restaurants, car dealerships, banks, grocery stores and everywhere in between to further our mission of finding a cure for breast cancer now… so our daughters won’t have to. For that, we thank you.  Women facing breast cancer, families and researchers thank you, too for making a difference.

Grassroots Partners – you ROCK! Watch the video below as we salute the 2015 Grassroots Partners:

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Register Now for the PBCC’s FREE Lymphedema Webinar

Posted By on December 15th, 2015 at 8:25 am | 0 comments.

lymphedema-for-plThe PA Breast Cancer Coalition will offer a free webinar, “Understanding and Treating Lymphedema After Breast CancerTuesday, January 19 at 7:00pm. Dr. Linda Miller, of the Breast Cancer Rehabilitation and Therapy Center will discuss lymphedema, a big concern for many breast cancer survivors, and its risk factors.

In this webinar, you will be given an overview of the condition as well as treatment options.  Dr. Miller will also share lymphedema resources.  You don’t want to miss it!

This activity has been submitted to the Oncology Nursing Society for approval to award contact hours. ONS is accredited as an approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s COA.

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