Archive for March, 2013

President’s Corner: Reflecting on 20 Years of Service, Survivorship and Strength

Posted By on March 18th, 2013 at 11:27 am | 1378 comments.

PHMurphy3What a difference two decades can make. In 2013, the PA Breast Cancer Coalition marks a major milestone – our 20th anniversary. With your generosity, support and passion for this cause, together we have changed lives and brought Pennsylvania researchers closer to finding a cure for breast cancer. Our work has only just begun.

To kick of our 20th Anniversary, we’re asking YOU to join us May 7th in the Capitol Rotunda for a special reunion honoring the lives of survivors and their families in Pennsylvania. Help us celebrate 20 years this Spring!

NEW NEW NEW Exhibit Ad

UPMC Scientist Receives $50,000 Refunds for Research Grant

Posted By on March 18th, 2013 at 11:27 am | 258 comments.

R4R UPMCThe PBCC’s Refunds for Research tour recently took us to the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Pittsburgh where we awarded Dr. Hannah Rabinowich with a $50,000 grant for her outstanding research focused on finding a cure for breast cancer.  Dr. Rabinowich and her lab of scientists are currently researching molecular mechanisms and breast cancer therapy.  Congratulations Dr. Rabinowich!

Click on the video below for more from our visit to UPMC.

youtube thumbnail 2 rounded


Empowering Ink: Nipple Tattoos Provide Hope

Posted By on March 18th, 2013 at 11:26 am | 4801 comments.

Mandy Sauler Tattooing“You made me feel real again.”  That’s often the response when tattoo artist Mandy Sauler works with clients who have recently been through breast cancer treatment.  Her office is often the last stop in a long journey of treatment and recovery.  Sauler specializes in 3-D nipple tattoo reconstruction for women who have had reconstructive surgery, making breasts look more natural for survivors.

Mandy Sauler Tattooing Pull Quote

“They look in the mirror and their mouth just drops open and they’re back to normal,” said Sauler.  She has been an artist for more than 17 years.  Sauler learned from her mother who owns a tattoo shop in Downingtown.  For the past 7 years, she has focused on the cosmetic side of the art through tattooing eyebrows or hair.  When she found her focus, Sauler discovered the need for nipple tattoo reconstruction and the process became effortless.

“Doctors had been doing the procedure before, but now tattoo artists are working on making them look more realistic,” said Sauler.  “When they look in the mirror, they have a focal point.  The focal point takes away from all of the other scars, you almost don’t see them anymore.  They fade away in the background.  It’s amazing what you can do with something so little.”

Sauler says there are still many women who end their recovery process without going through nipple reconstruction.  She wishes more survivors knew that the tattooing is healed within days, there is no down time, no restrictions and no pain with the help of anesthetics.

Two days a week, Sauler works with breast cancer survivors at the University of Pennsylvania Abramson Cancer Center.  She also works out of her offices in Plymouth Meeting and Exton and frequently travels to Manhattan.

Sauler’s Web site shows before and after pictures of breast cancer survivors taken after their 3-D nipple reconstruction.  If you would like to see the photos or learn more about Sauler’s services, click here.


Traveling Photo Exhibit Marks First 2013 Stop in Mercer County

Posted By on March 18th, 2013 at 11:26 am | 845 comments.

exhibit participantThere was a celebration of survivorship last Thursday at Sharon Regional Health System in Mercer County.  The medical center hosted the PBCC’s 67 Women, 67 Counties:  Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania Photo Exhibit, featuring women and families across the state who have courageously battled breast cancer.

More than 103,000 women and their families are living with breast cancer in Pennsylvania.  The exhibit encourages women to learn about and practice early detection through annual mammograms, breast self-exams and clinical exams.

To learn more about our traveling photo exhibit, click here.

In case you missed it in Mercer County, the exhibit travels to these other locations for 2013: 

April 10-19

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County

– Opening Reception:  April 10, 6:00 p.m.
This event is free and open to the public
RSVP by calling 800-377-8828 x305
For more information, click here.

May 7-17

Capitol Rotunda, Harrisburg, Dauphin County

PBCC LOGOSpecial PBCC 20th Anniversary Event

– Opening Reception:  April 10, 6:00 p.m.
This event is free and open to the public
RSVP by calling 800-377-8828 x304
For more information, click here.

FDA Approves Targeted Breast Cancer Drug

Posted By on March 18th, 2013 at 11:25 am | 263 comments.

doctor with patient

Barbara Good, Ph.D.
Director, Scientific Publications
National Surgical Adjuvant Breast & Bowel Project

“A revolutionary way of treating cancer” is the description one physician gives to the mechanism of a new drug, Kadcyla (Roche/Genentech), recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for advanced breast cancer.  Kadcyla targets tumor cells through a combination of the drug Herceptin and the chemotherapy drug DM1 (emtansine; ImmunoGen).

The drug will be used to treat about 20 percent of patients diagnosed with breast cancer, those with cancers that are HER2 positive.

Richard Pazdur, director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, notes that “Kadcyla delivers the drug to the cancer site to shrink the tumor, slow disease progression, and prolong survival.”

More information on this study can be found here.

Survivor Stories: Joyce Felton, Allegheny County

Posted By on March 18th, 2013 at 11:25 am | 223 comments.

Joyce FeltonIn August 1995 I saw a public service announcement about early detection of breast cancer.  Although I was only in my 30s, for some reason I felt like it was speaking directly to me. I asked my primary care physician to schedule a mammogram for me but he thought I was too young. I pushed and pulled and eventually he complied and I was able to get the mammogram.

You know something is wrong when they tell you not to get dressed again after your mammogram because they want to take another picture. And then after that the doctor wanted to see me. When you hear the word “biopsy,” all of a sudden your world falls down around you, like you are in The Twilight Zone.

Who could I talk to? Where could I go? Of course the first person I talked to was my Mom, but she had never had cancer. One of my peers at work suggested that I call the YWCA Encore Plus program. Yvonne Durham at Encore became my mentor throughout my treatment process which included a mastectomy, chemo, radiation, and reconstructive surgery.

Later Yvonne told me about the PBCC’s traveling photo exhibit and I submitted my photo and quote. Since then I’ve been one of the Allegheny County participants in the exhibit. The baby I’m holding in the exhibit picture is my godson and he is now in college!

In addition to Encore Plus, I also belong to the African-American Self-Help Support Group. I look at survivors as being the keepers of hope. If we survivors tell other women about our experiences, it might make them feel a little more comfortable. And they’ll know that they can make it, too.

Dodge4Cure Tournament Draws Excitement, Awareness for PBCC

Posted By on March 18th, 2013 at 11:25 am | 780 comments.

Dodge4CureEver thought that throwing foam balls at your friends could be a great way to raise money? Siblings Kim and BJ Wilke did, and 6 years later, the innovative fundraiser is still going strong. The “Dodge4Cure” Dodgeball Tournament was held at New Oxford High School in Adams County on February 23 this year, and over 40 teams participated to help “Dodge Breast Cancer.” This year’s event raised around $9,000– which will be added to the over $36,000 that Dodge4Cure has already contributed to the PBCC in the past 6 years! Special thanks to Kim and BJ for coordinating the tournament, and to all of the teams, volunteers and fans who came out to the event. Your efforts are truly making a difference in the lives of women across the state battling breast cancer.

Welcome Mary Ann Cupples Wisniowski!

Posted By on March 18th, 2013 at 11:25 am | 184 comments.

Mary Ann formattedThe PA Breast Cancer Coalition would like to welcome 14-year breast cancer survivor and advocate Mary Ann Cupples Wisniowski to the PA Breast Cancer Coalition board as our new Southwest Vice President.  We are very excited to add her expertise to the PBCC team!