Study focused on effective screening techniques for women with dense tissue
Which is better at detecting breast cancer in women with dense breasts – an ultrasound or 3D mammogram? Dr. Wendie Berg, MD, PhD, FACR of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC aims to answer that question with her PBCC-funded research.
The PA Breast Cancer Coalition awarded a $50,000 grant to Dr. Berg this week to continue her studies of the two breast cancer screenings. Dr. Berg is specifically interested in screenings for women with dense breasts. Dense breast tissue can hide cancer on a regular 2D mammogram, and often, supplemental screenings are recommended. It is a personal subject for Dr. Berg; her mother was diagnosed when she was in high school and Dr. Berg found her own breast cancer diagnosis through additional testing.
Dr. Berg and her team hope to determine if one of the options (ultrasound or 3D mammogram) are best in detecting breast cancer. On October 5, 2015, the PBCC awarded Dr. Berg an extraordinary opportunity grant of $50,000 to jump-start the process. Her study was also chosen to receive a 2016 grant through the PBCC Breast Cancer Research Grants Initiative – a fund comprised of taxpayer donations and private funding from anonymous donors and foundations.
Watch the video below to learn more about Dr. Berg’s breast cancer screening research.
Every Pennsylvania taxpayer has the option to donate their state income tax refund directly to our Research Initiative on Line 32. By choosing Code A, you join our fight to end breast cancer. Didn’t get a refund? Click here to donate now. Our goal in 2016 is to establish an endowment fund for research that enables us to continue our important mission of finding a cure for breast cancer now… so our daughters won’t have to.
Medical bills can already be a hassle, but what do you do when they arrive out of the blue? Here’s how it happens: When a patient receives care at a facility that is considered in-network by her insurer, but a doctor who treated them at that facility is considered out-of-network, the patient is responsible for an extra fee. It happens even if the patient had no way of knowing the doctor is out of network. These “surprise” medical bills can be a financial burden on families, causing many personal bankruptcies. The PA Insurance Commission will be proposing legislation to protect health care consumers in our state. We will keep you informed on this important issue!
Click here to see the proposed solution.
by Pat Halpin-Murphy, President and Founder
The PA Breast Cancer Coalition is incredibly proud to announce its total contributions to researchers at Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute have now reached $800,000!
Our latest grant winner, Dr. Edward Gunther, will use his $50,000 prize in 2016 to study the growth of cells over time and to examine why certain cell subsets develop into breast cancer. Dr. Gunther hopes to find key information about breast cancer prevention and to eventually develop a test or screening tool with the information his team finds.
A major portion of our Breast Cancer Research Grants Initiative comes from taxpayer donations. This is where YOU have the opportunity to bring us closer to a cure. Look for Line 32 on your PA-40 state income tax form and choose Code A to donate your refund directly to Pennsylvania breast cancer researchers. The average donation is $7 and the PBCC has used those donations to award more than $3 million in grants to innovative projects across the state. This tax season, donate your refund to life-saving breast cancer research!
Join Union County survivors and the PA Breast Cancer Coalition March 23 for the first photo exhibit opening of 2016 at Bucknell University’s Elaine Langone Center beginning at 5:30pm. This will be the first time our exhibit goes on display in Union. Hear inspiring stories and learn the importance of annual screenings for women. Admission to the reception is free of charge. Want to go?
The exhibit features local breast cancer survivors who will share their stories and experiences as they faced the disease. The reception beginning at 5:30pm includes light refreshments and music. The full program is scheduled to start at 6:00pm, featuring local breast cancer survivors sharing their stories and experiences as they faced this disease. This exhibit will be open through April 3, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to see it.
For more information or to RSVP to the event, click here.
Melissa Rickard, Wayne County
Going through breast cancer taught me to accept what I cannot change. My grandmother had been diagnosed with breast cancer in her 40s and passed away in 2009. That April, I found a lump while doing a breast self-exam. I had a biopsy and then, on my 37th birthday, the surgeon told me I had DCIS and an area of micro-invasion. I had a mastectomy and immediate reconstruction.
If I had waited until I was 40 to have a mammogram I probably wouldn’t be here. Cancer is non-discriminating and that includes by age. I’m a nurse practitioner at Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers, and I encourage my patients to talk with their provider about screenings.
Wayne County conducted a community assessment and one of the barriers it highlighted is transportation. We learned that women weren’t getting screened because of lack of transportation to medical care and many were being diagnosed at a later stage with a higher mortality rate. We held a community campaign called Putting on the Pink to raise funds for a mobile mammography van. There is funding now for the equipment and the next step is to fund the van itself.
I also represent Wayne County in the PA Breast Cancer Coalition’s photo exhibit, 67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania and spoke at a recent exhibit opening at Wayne Memorial Hospital.
The biggest lesson I learned through my experience is that some of the things I thought were important just really weren’t. It was a tough adjustment, having surgeries and at the same time still being in the Reserves. But I’ve learned to prioritize and to be present. When I’m not working, I take time to enjoy gardening, exercising, and reading.
Do you shop on Amazon.com? Did you know you can arrange for Amazon to donate to the PBCC every time you make a purchase? AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support the PBCC every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate 0.05% of the purchase price to the PBCC. It really adds up!
On your first visit to AmazonSmile, you need to select the PA Breast Cancer Coalition to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Amazon will remember that you’ve selected the PBCC, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation to our efforts.
The 6th Annual Ride 4 Life will be held Saturday, April 23 at the Shale Knoll Indoor Arena in Annville. This one of a kind barrel racing event offers courses for riders of all experience levels. Whether you are a rookie or a master, there is a course for everyone. Don’t miss it!
Started by breast cancer survivor Shelly Mix, Ride 4 Life has raised $13,000 over the years for the PA Breast Cancer Coalition. Shelly says she enjoys organizing the event every year because it’s something she feels passionate about.
“As a breast cancer survivor and an avid barrel racer, I wanted to find a way to return the kindness and generosity shown to me in my time of need twelve years ago. I encourage every mom, sister, daughter, wife and friend to get a mammogram – it saved my life! Please join us for this festive day to celebrate and remember!” – Shelly Mix
Click here for event details.
3D mammograms are FREE for women in Pennsylvania! If you are insured under PA law or if you are covered by Medicaid in PA, 3D mammograms are available at no cost to you.
Click here to download our free 3D mammogram information sheet.
Click here for frequently asked questions about 3D mammograms from the PA Insurance Commission.