Archive for September, 2011

PBCC Turns Capitol Fountain PINK

Posted By on September 28th, 2011 at 3:17 pm | 2313 comments.

2011 Pink Fountain Kick-OffHARRISBURG, Pa. A bright pink fountain will flow throughout October at the Pennsylvania State Capitol to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness month. The East Wing Fountain at the State Capitol in Harrisburg turned PINK on Wednesday, September 28th thanks to the First Lady Susan Corbett and PA Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC).

 The PA Breast Cancer Coalition was proud to join First Lady Susan Corbett, Sheri Phillips, Secretary of the PA Department of General Services, and Debbie Freer, PBCC Board Member and breast cancer survivor, in celebrating the start of this important month. The pink fountain serves as a breathtaking visual that underlines and signifies the critical importance of education, early detection and treatment of breast cancer.

“Almost all of us know someone whose life has been touched in some way by this disease,” said First Lady Susan Corbett. “My mother fought and won two rounds with breast cancer.  She’s 92 now and still ready to fight. I’m proud to be her daughter.  With new treatments, research and a simple will to survive; we can all take on the challenge of reducing breast cancer deaths and someday put an end to this disease.”

“As a staple at the State Capitol, this fountain is a reminder to all who pass by about the magnitude of breast cancer education. It serves as a tribute to the brave women throughout Pennsylvania who have fought or are fighting this dreadful disease,” said Pat Halpin-Murphy, PBCC President and Founder. “As October approaches, we are reminded that there are more than 140,000 breast cancer survivors alive today across Pennsylvania, and we must continue to promote our mission of finding a cure for breast cancer now…so our daughters won’t have to.”

Breast cancer continues to be the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in the United States, regardless of race or ethnicity. Nearly all breast cancers can be treated successfully if found early. When breast cancer is found in its earliest stage, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent.

The PA Breast Cancer Coalition represents, supports and serves breast cancer survivors and their families in Pennsylvania through educational programming, legislative advocacy and breast cancer research grants. The PBCC is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure now…so our daughters won’t have to. For more information, please call 800-377-8828 or visit


Media Contact: Kevin Smith
717-721-2580 x109

PBCC Conference Contest

Posted By on September 19th, 2011 at 2:07 pm | 404 comments.

What did your experience with breast cancer teach you? Did it teach you about your own strength? What did you learn about the people around you? Were you inspired to become an advocate or make a career change? Share your story with the PBCC. In 500 words or less, tell us about your experience and you could be selected to be featured in one of the PBCC’s upcoming newsletters. One grand prize winner will receive two registrations to the PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference. Email your story to by October 3 for consideration for our grand prize.

In the News: Male Breast Cancer Patient Receives Insurance Help

Posted By on September 19th, 2011 at 2:06 pm | 527 comments.

A South Carolina man will receive treatment for breast cancer under Medicaid’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Program after originally being denied coverage because of his gender. In fact, the South Carolina Medicaid agency ruled that all uninsured or underinsured men diagnosed with breast cancer who meet the program eligibility requirements should now receive treatment.

The South Carolina ruling means that the state will be referring Raymond Johnson’s case to the federal Medicaid program. If the federal program denies the claim, South Carolina will likely appeal the denial. If the appeal fails, South Carolina will cover the cost of Mr. Johnson’s treatment on its own. South Carolina hopes that the U.S. Medicare and Medicaid agency will overturn the rule barring males from receiving coverage through the program, paving the way for all uninsured and underinsured men to receive coverage for breast cancer treatment nationwide.  Click here to see how Pennsylvania has adopted the BCCPT program!

While breast cancer incidence among men occurs 100 times less than in women, there are still over 2,000 men diagnosed each year.

Why You Should Follow PBCC on Facebook and Twitter

Posted By on September 19th, 2011 at 2:05 pm | 203 comments.

The rise of social media has provided the PBCC with additional means to communicate to those who are interested in the work of our organization. The addition of social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter give the PBCC another instantaneous way to communicate and interact with those who care about breast cancer issues in Pennsylvania and beyond.

Follow the PBCC on Facebook or Twitter if you have social media accounts of your own. There you’ll be able to see links to stories of interest, a recap of some of our Grassroots Partners and media events, and other items of note in real time. And you can interact with us – let us know if you were at one of the events, give us your insight or share your experience.

If you know anyone who would like to receive Pink Link, please have them sign up here.

We hope to see you on Facebook and Twitter soon!


Posted By on September 19th, 2011 at 2:04 pm | 1044 comments.

CancerCare is a national nonprofit organization that provides free professional support services to cancer patients, caregivers, and family members. They offer counseling, support groups, educational workshops, community programs, and publications that may be of use to anyone affected by cancer. They also provide financial assistance as it relates to certain treatment-related costs for eligible individuals.

CancerCare has a comprehensive user-friendly website that may help answer many questions you may be facing as a patient, caregiver, or family member coping with cancer. Among the website’s resources are a list of inspirational stories and a Q&A section that focuses on a particular cancer related topic each month.

Survivor Spotlight – Heather Stempka, Erie County

Posted By on September 19th, 2011 at 2:03 pm | 257 comments.

Following her second breast cancer diagnosis at 33 years old, Heather Stempka wanted to reassure other young women that they didn’t have to take the breast cancer journey on their own. She co-founded Linked by Pink, which is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about breast cancer in young women, particularly those who were diagnosed under the age of 45, and that provides resources to them.

While Linked by Pink is based in Erie, PA, Heather has used social media outlets like Facebook to broaden the horizons for the organization. Heather will be presenting the “Advocacy Using Social Media” workshop at the 2011 PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference on Tuesday, October 11.

Heather’s passion for helping people led her back to school to finish her degree in psychology with a minor in crisis counseling. She will graduate next summer from Liberty University.

Linked by Pink offers $500 medical grants to assist women battling breast cancer. Currently, the grants are only available to those who live within a 45 mile radius of Erie, PA, although they hope to extend their reach further in the future. For information on how to apply for these grants, visit the Linked by Pink website.

Cancer Clinical Trials Cooperative Groups Undergo Restructuring

Posted By on September 19th, 2011 at 2:02 pm | 2132 comments.

By: Barbara C. Good, Ph.D.    It is not only private citizens who are undergoing belt tightening in these difficult economic times.  The National Cancer Institute (NCI), which has for years funded clinical trials carried out by the 10 adult cancer cooperative trials groups, recently determined that there be only four such groups from this point forward into the foreseeable future.  At this time, the previous groups are coming to agreements among themselves about which groups will merge together to meet this mandate.

Government-funded clinical trials will continue, but the manner in which they are carried out, how exactly the different groups’ methods of operation will be melded, and issues such as the particulars of data analysis and sample storage are as of now under consideration by the group chairs.

Under the new system, it is critical that NCI-sponsored trials continue to attract patient participants.  The federal government, unlike private industry, can for the most part conduct these studies without the burden, real or perceived, of financial interest being a driving factor.  Government-sponsored clinical trials have led to many of the advances in cancer treatment made over the past 40 years, including, in breast cancer trials, the option of lumpectomy and radiation instead of mastectomy, the common use of chemotherapy for treatment, and the use of tamoxifen as a preventive agent for women at high risk. Click here for more information about the current state of the clinical trials cooperative groups. Or, for more information on clinical trials in general, click here.

Check Your Calendar for PBCC Conference

Posted By on September 19th, 2011 at 2:01 pm | 1685 comments.

Is Tuesday, October 11 circled on your calendar? If not, there’s still time to join hundreds of breast cancer survivors and advocates at the PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference in Harrisburg for an unforgettable day full of educational workshops, engaging speakers, a delicious luncheon, and many new friends. Register now using coupon code PINK to save $10 off your $85 registration fee.

Help us honor the achievements of our 2011 Conference Award Recipients, who have each made significant contributions in the fight against breast cancer in their own way – whether it be through research or treatment of the disease, or through advocacy and fundraising. Choose from 13 workshops with topics varying from cutting edge research to advocacy. Browse our exhibitor tables and get a head start on holiday shopping.

With something for everyone, you don’t want to miss the PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference. Register now. Click here.