Study: Drug May Protect Fertility During Chemotherapy

Posted By on June 16th, 2014 at 8:46 am | 0 comments.

pregnant-womangreenResearchers at the Cleveland Clinic say they have found a drug that shows promise in protecting fertility among cancer survivors.  Goserelin, which is commonly used in hormonal therapies to treat breast and prostate cancers, is also used in fertility clinics to control ovulation.  How does it work?

According to this recent study, goserelin has been proven to prevent women from entering premature menopause that can be caused by chemotherapy.  Researchers found that women who were given goserelin injections along with chemotherapy had less ovarian failure and gave birth to more babies than women who only received chemotherapy.  Two years after starting chemotherapy, only 8% of women who received the monthly goserelin injections during chemotherapy experienced ovarian failure, compared to 22% of those with chemotherapy who did not receive the injections.  It was noted that this study only included women who had hormone-receptor-negative cancer, because many women with hormone-receptor-positive cancer typically receive the drug tamoxifen, which can cause a loss in menstruation.
Currently, the most common option for breast cancer patients to increase their chances of conceiving is to freeze their eggs, which is an invasive procedure that can cost $10,000+.  Once-a-month injections of goserelin during chemotherapy would serve as an alternative, costing about $500-$600 per shot.  Experts say, while the research shows positive results, the drug does come with side effects.  Survivors may experience a temporary postmenopausal state along with hot flashes and other symptoms.
There is some doubt among experts at the American Society of Clinical Oncology who say there is insufficient evidence that this approach is effective and “should not be relied on to preserve fertility.”
Still, scientists say they also noticed an unexpected finding of the study: women who received goserelin had a lower risk of dying after four years.   They say there is still not enough data to recommend this drug be used to treat cancer, but the results show goserelin will not worsen cancer outcomes if used to protect fertility.
To read the complete article in the New York Times, click here

FREE Summer Camp Open to PA Kids Affected by Cancer

Posted By on June 16th, 2014 at 8:45 am | 0 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

Stauffers of Kissel Hill Raises Thousands for Survivors at Pink Day

Posted By on June 16th, 2014 at 8:44 am | 0 comments.

Stauffers-Pic2Pink Day at Stauffers of Kissel Hill Garden Centers was a blossoming success as folks filed in to grab their gardening essentials on a beautiful spring day. At each of their 8 Central PA locations, Stauffers offered 2% of sales as a donation to the PBCC, gave away free watering cans to anyone who made a contribution, and held an employee bake-sale to raise money. In addition, PBCC staff and volunteers were on-hand to offer free resources, information and breast cancer materials. This year’s Pink Day raised an amazing $8,377.80!  The event at Stauffers has raised more than $24,000 since its inception in 2012!
Special thank you our friends at Stauffers of Kissel Hill for planting the seed and growing a great awareness event for the PBCC!

No Shortage of Homers at Harrisburg’s Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer Home Run Derby

Posted By on June 12th, 2014 at 9:16 am | 0 comments.
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Team Hakuna MaTaTa raised more than $3,600 for the PBCC!

The 7th annual Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer® Home Run Derby kicked off in Harrisburg at Metro Bank Park on June 10th with nearly 100 batters, countless volunteers, and a stadium full of supporters.

The fight against breast cancer was in full force with Team Hakuna MaTaTa raising $3,623, earning the title of Top Fundraiser!

Jody Roof Home Run Photo

Jody Roof shows off his 4 home run balls with his two biggest fans

Five talented batters were awarded for their high scores!  Jody Roof impressed with four home runs and a total score of 625 points; Burt Stormes knocked one out of the park and earned a total of 425 points; Bret Wagner also hit one homer and earned a total of 375 points; Brian Zellers racked up 375 points with two home run balls; and John Furlong rounded out our top five hitters with 350 points!

Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse also showed his support for breast cancer survivors in Pennsylvania by taking a few hits and sporting a Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer jersey!

Mayor Papenfuse

Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse and Derby Emcee Bob Hauer get ready to take a swing against breast cancer with PBCC President Pat Halpin-Murphy

One down and two to go!  The PBCC will be hosting two more Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer Home Run Derbies at Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster on Saturday, June 21st and at Jerry Uht Park in Erie on Saturday, August 23rd.  Grab your friends and family to join us as we swing for the fences in an effort to find a cure for breast cancer now… so our daughters won’t have to.”

Check out all of our derby day photos on the PBCC Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pbcc/

FREE Webinars Coming this Month

Posted By on June 2nd, 2014 at 10:56 am | 0 comments.

Webinar-Graphic-for-PinkLink     Ask the Expert!  The PA Breast Cancer Coalition will expand its educational programs and services this June with the launch of FREE Webinars for survivors and advocates. The first presentation, offered Tuesday, June 24 at 7:00pm, will be “Understanding Your Breast Cancer Reconstruction Options” hosted by Dr. Joseph Serletti, Chief of Plastic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine.
Dr. Serletti plans to focus on the latest in breast and nipple reconstruction options as well as how to best prepare for surgery and post-operation recovery. He will also be available to answer questions during the webinar. Anyone interested in learning more about this topic is invited to join us for this unique educational opportunity, free of charge.

Click-here-to-register-button

Swing Batter Swing: Beat Breast Cancer at 3 Ballparks with the PBCC!

Posted By on May 15th, 2014 at 10:16 am | 0 comments.
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#ibatfor all breast cancer survivors in Pennsylvania. You are not alone in his fight! – Pat Halpin-Murphy, PBCC Pres. and Founder

Tis’ the Season to Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer! The PA Breast Cancer Coalition’s Home Run Derby events kick-off this June, raising funds to support survivors across the state. The PBCC will visit Harrisburg, Lancaster and Erie. Registration is $25 for 10 swings and a free derby t-shirt.

So, who do YOU bat for? Maybe it’s your mother, your wife, your sister, your aunt, your daughter or all breast cancer survivors facing this battle.

We want to know! Follow @PBCC on Twitter and use the hashtag #ibatfor. Upload a short video of yourself or a tweet explaining why you choose to step up to the plate with us. We’ll select a winning post to receive a prize pack at the stadium of your choice!

WATCH: All-star batters share why they step up to the plate

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Click-here-to-Register

Westmoreland County Hosts Inspiring Exhibit Kick-off Celebrating Survivors

Posted By on May 15th, 2014 at 10:15 am | 0 comments.

Westmoreland-Image-revisedThe PA Breast Cancer Coalition was honored to partner with Westmoreland Walks, Inc. and Excela Health to celebrate the life, courage, hope and dignity of breast cancer survivors earlier this month. Local survivors shared their incredible stories at the PBCC’s photo exhibit kick-off reception inside Excela Square at Norwin. Guests also learned about the importance of early detection and access to screening through a program at Excela called “Walk-In Wednesdays.” The photo exhibit features women from communities across Pennsylvania, sharing thoughts and photos following their breast cancer diagnosis.

“This exhibit, “67 Women, 67 Counties,” was something we started a few years ago.  And, this is hard to believe now, but in the 90s, there were many, many women who were not comfortable with saying, ‘I’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer,’” said PBCC President and Founder Pat Halpin-Murphy.  “That’s really what gave me the idea of having someone, a woman from each county in this state.”

Westmoreland Walks, Inc., a successful Grassroots Partner of the PBCC and Excela Health graciously offered to share the Coalition’s message of early detection and awareness with Westmoreland County between May 1 and 10.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication to finding a cure for breast cancer now… so our daughters won’t have to!

WATCH: See more from Westmoreland’s exhibit kick-off in the video below

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For photos from the event, click here.

For more details:
www.pbccexhibit.org
www.westmorelandwalks.org
www.excelahealth.org

Special thanks to Joe Golden for providing music at our exhibit opening reception and for our video!

Survivorship is Sweet for Lehigh County’s LuAnn Mill

Posted By on May 15th, 2014 at 10:15 am | 0 comments.
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LuAnn Mill cooks up sweet concoctions to benefit the PA Breast Cancer Coalition

The minute I found the lump, I knew what it was. I have mammograms regularly every year. I had a mammogram in January 2012 and then found it myself the following July. I went to my gynecologist right away and she didn’t think it was anything to worry about but ordered an ultrasound anyway to be sure. I was diagnosed with lobular carcinoma and had surgery in August and started chemotherapy in September. I had eight treatments over 16 weeks and then 34 radiation treatments ending in March 2013. Now I’m on anti-hormone therapy for five years.

My husband Rick was great support. I know it was hard for him to see me going through it. One of the hardest things was telling the kids, even though they are grown. Cards and prayers from the congregation at my church really increased my faith and my strength. The pastor came when I was having surgery and I can’t say enough about how much that helped. For every test I was scared but then I would remember that God’s in control and that helped me get through it.

You have to trust your doctors and have confidence in them. I was treated at the Breast Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital and they gave me a brochure about the PBCC. I ordered one of the Friends Like Me care packages and loved how informative it was! It helped too to know that I wasn’t the only one and that there was hope.

At the time of my diagnosis, a friend’s daughter was getting married. The bride knows I love to bake and she asked me to make the favors, blue nonpareils to match the bridesmaids’ gowns. While I was doing that, I got the idea to make pink ones for breast cancer awareness. As I was going through chemo, I started making the pink ones and taking them to various businesses in the Emmaus area. Doing that gave me something to do and to focus on. All the money raised by selling them goes to the PBCC. The first year we raised $1,000 and then $1,300 the next year. This October will be my third year and I will have a stand at a craft show in Leesport.
You never believe it until it happens. I worked with cancer patients and I remember thinking at the time now I am one of them. Sometimes I worry but I have a very good prognosis and I know whatever happens I will be able to handle it.