Archive for the ‘Pink Link’ Category

PBCC Awards Drexel Researchers Working to Find Breast Cancer Cure

Posted By on March 16th, 2015 at 8:37 am | 0 comments.

patheadshotforplIt’s not every day you get to witness real hope in action. Innovative, groundbreaking and awe-inspiring breast cancer research is happening right now in Pennsylvania. The PA Breast Cancer Coalition presented Refunds for Breast Cancer Research grants for $50,000 each to Drs. Alessandro Fatatis and Mauricio Reginato of Drexel University College of Medicine last week. Touring their laboratories and learning more about their exciting research was captivating.

Dr. Fatatis is focused on metastatic breast cancer and how to stop the cancer cells from spreading. He plans to use the Refunds for Research grant to ready his work for human clinical trials. With Refunds for Research funding, Dr. Reginato will explore new, alternative treatment options for triple-negative breast cancer.

Thank you Drs. Fatatis and Reginato for working to find a cure for breast cancer now… so our daughters won’t have to!

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YOU can make a real difference this tax season. Donate your state income tax refund to breast cancer research by choosing “Option A” on Line 32. Help us continue our fight against breast cancer! For more information on the PBCC’s Refunds for Research program, visit pbcc.me.refunds.

Mother, Daughter Fight Breast Cancer Together 10 Years Apart

Posted By on March 16th, 2015 at 8:37 am | 0 comments.

Anita-and-Kerri-Survivor-Spotlight-for-PLAnita Conner and Kerri Conner-Matchett, Philadelphia County

“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh I gave my daughter breast cancer.’” That’s what Philadelphia survivor Anita Conner thought when her daughter, Kerri was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, exactly 10 years to the day after Anita’s own diagnosis. Now together, they’re on a mission to educate and motivate women of color to get breast health screenings and treatments.

 

Anita Conner

My husband and I found the lump on my left breast. I went to the gynecologist and he said there’s a lump there but it’s not cancerous. So… you go about your business. It just so happened later that I was having some issues and we decided to have a hysterectomy. The surgeon wanted to do a biopsy on the lump and that’s when we learned I had advanced stage breast cancer. Over 18 months had passed. Of the 20 lymph nodes tested, 14 were malignant. I had the breast removed and had high dose chemotherapy.

I was very fortunate in that I own my own business as a CPA. It turned out to be the best year in business. People have a tendency to step up to the plate when they’re needed. I continued to work when I could because that’s what I needed to do to heal.

After I started getting better, we recognized that in our community there wasn’t enough information about breast cancer in African-American women. We came up with the idea to reach out to the faith-based community because that’s where the women are … they are in church. We approached ten churches that are clients of ours and proposed a day we called Praise Sunday. On Praise Sunday we would give out literature to the congregation and have a speaker present a two or three minute talk. All of the churches said yes. This year is our 10th anniversary and now that has expanded into the Week of Hope, Health, and Healing. The last Sunday in September is Praise Sunday, then throughout the week there are survivors pamper parties, a health fair, and a program called Real Men Wear Pink. We close out with a concert on Saturday. It has grown into a nonprofit called Praise is the Cure. This year the youth festival will be presented in 25 sites in the Philadelphia school district, and we expect to reach 400 churches in the tri-state area with Praise Sunday.

I want other women to know that breast cancer is not a death sentence. You have to be active in your health and remember that no one knows your body better than you do.  For more information on Anita’s nonprofit, Praise is the Cure, click here.

Kerri Conner-Matchett

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, exactly ten years to the day after my mother. The lump was above my breast area. My daughter was two years old and I had br
eastfed her, so some people thought it might have been milk in the milk ducts. But because of my mother’s experience, I thought I’d better me,-madison-and-my-mom-for-PLget it checked out. It was stage 3 breast cancer and very aggressive. I was 33 years old.

I had high dose chemo, a double mastectomy, radiation, and two more years of chemo and then reconstructive surgery.

I had a huge support system. I knew it would be a tough journey but I didn’t have any doubt about surviving because I’d seen my mother make it. She was my advocate. I knew my hair would fall out, my skin would turn a different color, my nails might turn black. I also knew I was going to get a brand new pair of breasts and even a flat stomach!
My husband and I have a daughter and are now trying to adopt two more children, foster children who were placed with us. They are all a blessing. Madison will be nine in March, James is four and Haniyah is three. A lot of women have trouble talking to their children about MyMommyHasBreastCancerwhat’s happening. With that in mind, I wrote a book called, “My Mommy has Breast Cancer but She’s OK.” 
When I was diagnosed someone told me that a Monarch butterfly travels 1,000 miles in its lifetime. If a butterfly can do it, you can. Don’t give up and you’ll make it to your destination.

 

 

Free Breast Density Webinar Now Available Online

Posted By on March 16th, 2015 at 8:37 am | 0 comments.

The PA Breast Cancer Coalition’s latest webinar, “Breast Density: What is It and Why Does it Matter?” is now available online! Thank you to our expert presenter, Dr. Susann Schetter, Division Chief of Breast Imaging at Penn State Hershey Breast Center, who presented information on breast density notification, levels, risks and screening options March 11. Did you miss it? Click on the link below to watch a video recording of the webinar:

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Cost Concerns Over Shorter, High-dose Radiation Therapy Treatments

Posted By on March 16th, 2015 at 8:36 am | 0 comments.

radiation-therapyRecent studies suggest that shorter, high-dose radiation treatments can be just as effective as longer-range therapy regimens.  So, why aren’t more patients opting for them? According to doctors at Duke University Medical Center, that reason could be cost.

Duke’s research shows that fewer than 20 percent of patients with early invasive breast cancer who opted for breast-conserving surgery chose to receive the shorter hydrofractionated therapy instead of the more traditional therapy.  Researchers at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium reported that concerns over cost could be the reason shorter, high-dose therapies aren’t catching on.  They also note that about 10 percent of patients at community facilities have access to the hydrofractionated radiation and some 15 percent of patients treated at comprehensive community cancer centers received the treatment.
You can read more about short course radiation therapy in the latest edition of the PBCC’s Frontline Newsletter here.

To read more about this study online, click here.

Saddle Up! 5th Annual Ride 4 Life Set to Raise Funds for PA Survivors

Posted By on March 16th, 2015 at 8:36 am | 0 comments.

shelly-mixThe 5th Annual MidAtlanticSpeedHorse.com‘s Ride 4 Life is here! This open barrel race to benefit the PBCC has raised over $9,500 in the past 4 years, spearheaded by breast cancer survivor and horse enthusiast Shelly Mix! Join over 160 riders April 25 in Annville, Lebanon County, PA for target barrel races, a rookie race and junior horse barrel competitions. It all gets started with exhibitions at 8:30am and the show at 11:00am. There will also be vendors, food and more!

Find out all the info, register, donate or become a sponsor on their website here.

Would you like to organize a fundraiser for the PBCC? Visit pbcc.me/hostevent or contact Kristen@PABreastCancer.org for more information.

Expensive Prescriptions? Assistance Programs Available for Families

Posted By on March 16th, 2015 at 8:36 am | 0 comments.

prescription-helpMany pharmaceutical companies offer Patient Assistance Programs for the prescription medications they manufacture. Patients who are uninsured or underinsured may qualify to receive free or discounted drugs for breast cancer treatment and other family medical needs. Needy Meds provides a user-friendly list of the companies’ assistance programs with details about how to apply.

On the Needy Meds website, search by the name of your prescription medication to see if an assistance program is offered.  Also, Pennsylvania’s prescription assistance programs for older adults, PACE, PACENET and PACE plus Medicare, offer low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. For more information, call the PA Department of Aging at 1-800-225-7223.

Dense Breast Tissue: What to Know. What to Do.

Posted By on February 16th, 2015 at 8:31 am | 0 comments.

patheadshotforplWe all have a responsibility to educate, support and care for each other. I’ve met and talked with so many women who tell me similar stories – they have dense breast tissue, didn’t know it and were diagnosed at a later, less-treatable stage. We’re working to ensure no other woman has that same story to tell.

The PBCC hopes to gather information from mammography centers where women receive their mammograms. We’ve developed a 12-question survey to learn more about what mammography centers need to notify women of their breast density. Are you a breast imaging professional? Will you help us with this email survey?

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Answers to the short survey will make a BIG difference! Gathering this information is vital as we move forward, informing and educating women about breast density. Thank you for turning advocacy into action!

Dr. Eugene Glavin, Medical Director for Women’s Imaging at Good Samaritan Health System explains why it’s important for mammography centers to share information.

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PBCC Advocacy Helps Fayette Survivor Find Support, Strength

Posted By on February 16th, 2015 at 8:29 am | 0 comments.

JaynetteSurvivorStoryforPLWell, I did a terrible thing. I went for three years without a mammogram, working, going camping, and just doing whatever I wanted to do. The doctor’s office would make an appointment for me and I’d cancel it. Then I realized I had a lump and I made an appointment and had a mammogram. I knew they’d be calling me back in, and two days later they did. I went for a diagnostic ultrasound, then a biopsy, and was diagnosed with breast cancer on July 26, 2013.

When I learned I had breast cancer I did an online search and found the PBCC. I didn’t know where else to turn and the PBCC was so helpful! I got my Friends Like Me care package within a week. There was so much good information. It gave me something to concentrate on.
I had a modified radical mastectomy, then chemo, took a month off to rest, and then I had 36 radiation treatments.
When I was on my 3rd of 20 chemo treatments, my Family Medical Leave (FMLA) ran out and I lost my job. I was trying to keep up with COBRA payments, and I think what happens is that nobody wants to talk about not being able to pay their bills. But I eventually mentioned it to my niece who lives in another state and she knew someone there who got coverage through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act (BCCPT). I called the PBCC to see if that was available in PA and you helped me find out how to apply. It was such a huge relief, not having to worry about how to come up with the COBRA payments!
jaynettelastchemoMy husband was such a great support. He said, “You can’t give up now. You have to keep on going.” The other biggest help I had was Luca, a yellow golden retriever. Luca is a therapy dog who comes to UPMC Magee and is owned by Sister Pat, a Catholic nun. Pets with Heart is a program of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden PA.  All throughout my chemo treatments, Sister Pat brought Luca in and she would sit with me. I never would have done as well without her.
One thing I want other women to know is not to be upset if they have chemo fog. If you forget things, just laugh about it. It’s healthier. Look on the bright side because there are so many people that want to help you. Unity Journey of Hope, a nonprofit organization working to fulfill wishes for adults facing illnesses, granted me a wish. I haven’t been able to ride bikes or ski or travel like I used to do because I’ve had too much pain and discomfort. But I have always wanted to eat in a 5-star restaurant and they granted me that wish!
Now I’m looking forward to going to the Pink Zone basketball game at Penn State! This would be my first time and that looks like a lot of fun!