Author Archive

Research Grant Reviewers Needed!

Posted By on April 24th, 2019 at 9:27 am | 0 comments.

 

PA Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC) is in need of individuals to serve this year on our panel as Scientific Research Reviewers and Consumer/Lay Reviewers.

Each Scientific Reviewer will be assigned a designated number of grants/proposals to review and will write short critiques on the following:

  • Scientific Relevance
  • Impact
  • Innovation
  • Research Strategy
  • Research Environment
  • Feasibility and Timeline
  • Budget
  • Principal Investigator and Personnel

Each Consumer/Lay Reviewer will be assigned a designated number of grants/proposals to review and will write a short critique on the following:

  • Impact

Consumer/Lay Reviewers are required to read the full application and are encouraged to comment on all criteria if you feel you have the knowledge and feel comfortable in doing so.

Each assigned reviewer will provide their critique(s) focusing on major, score driving strengths and weaknesses.

Once your willingness and availability to serve on the Review Committee is confirmed, you will be emailed a Conflict of Interest (COI) that will need to be completed and emailed back to the PBCC. An email address will be provided to you.

You will also receive the Reviewer Manual/Guidelines to review.  Please read and become familiar with the material since this is the information you will need to begin and complete your review process for the Grant/Proposal Program.

Grants/Proposals will be mailed to you around July 6, 2019. Your score sheets with your critiques will need to be returned by August 1, 2019.

Please let us know by  May 1, 2019 with your availability of serving on the Review Committee. If you have any questions, email Info@PABreastCancer.org

 

Survivor Spotlight: Nelline Talton, Allegheny county

Posted By on February 11th, 2019 at 4:15 pm | 0 comments.

HOW AND WHEN WAS YOUR BREAST CANCER FOUND?

I had my baseline mammogram when I was 28 years old after learning that my great grandmother had breast cancer. At that time, they told me I had dense breasts and the mammogram was cloudy because of my age. In September 2005 at age 44 I went for annual screening mammogram and there was a suspicious area on the film. I had additional views done and an ultrasound guided biopsy, then an MRI stereotactic biopsy. It was concluded that I had a malignant tumor and that I needed a mastectomy.

I had chemo prior to the surgery due to the size of the tumor. I’ll never forget the date of my surgery: it was on Good Friday 2006. I had a double mastectomy with reconstruction.

WHERE DID YOU FIND YOUR BEST SUPPORT?

Most of the support I had was through my church family at the Deliverance Baptist Church in Wilkinsburg, and my sister. My sister actually spent one of her birthdays with me at my chemo treatment.

I want to share one very special thing. Right before my surgery the surgeon was running behind. One of the ministers from my church, who is the bishop’s daughter, sat and sang to me until they came to take me to surgery.

HOW DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THE PBCC?

I went to a breast cancer support group at the YWCA in Pittsburgh after my first chemo treatment. The coordinator Yvonne Durham shared lots of information and a gift bag. Two weeks after that meeting I received a PBCC Friends Like Me care package. It was close to Christmas when it arrived and I thought it was a Christmas gift. A little note inside said that Yvonne had requested it for me. I cried going through everything because it made me feel special to think that such a wonderful thing could come because of having this awful disease.

YOU’VE BEEN TO THE PBCC CONFERENCE IN OCTOBER. WHAT WAS THAT LIKE FOR YOU?

My first two conferences were in 2016 and 2017. This past year I really enjoyed the opening session presentation by Dr. Hudis. He shared so much information and he’s so humble! I love that he’s still working with patients. Without the PBCC, I would not be able to continue learning about breakthroughs with treatment, research, and clinical trials. I share as much of that as I can, and I know that you’re doing it all in an effort to save lives. I’m truly thankful for the PBCC. You’re a sounding board and lasting voice for me and for other survivors.

IS THERE SOMETHING YOU WANT OTHER WOMEN TO REMEMBER?

Be aware of any changes in your breasts and don’t be afraid to voice them to your doctor. Be vigilant about having mammograms. Schedule it and show up!

 

Is Transportation To Your Medical Treatments A Challenge?

Posted By on February 11th, 2019 at 11:05 am | 0 comments.

Uber Health or LyftForHealth may be able to help! Each of these popular ride companies are partnering with healthcare facilities to arrange transportation for patients and caregivers. The hospital books the ride in advance (or the day of the appointment) and the patient is notified by text when to expect the driver. If texting is not an option, the patient will receive a confirmation call from the hospital.

The passenger does not need an Uber or Lyft account; however, the hospital must be participating in the program. Check with your doctor or hospital to see if they might consider joining UberHealth or LyftForHealth, available anywhere that Uber and Lyft have services.

More details are at www.uberhealth.com and https://lyftbusiness.com/healthcare

 

Does your treatment facility provide this service? Let us know!

 

 

2018 Conference Workshops Announced!

Posted By on July 26th, 2018 at 2:34 pm | 0 comments.

  Learn from leading medical and wellness professionals about topics that are important to your life!

Workshop topics to include:

  • New Advances in Treatment for Women with BRCA Mutations by Dr. Susan Domchek, University of Pennsylvania
  • Advances in Breast Cancer Research and Clinical Trials by Dr. Shannon Puhalla, NSABP and UPMC
  • What it is your Recurrence Score?: Why it Matters presented by Dr. Amy Clark, University of Pennsylvania
  • Screening Update: The New American College of Radiology Recommendations presented by Dr. Alison Chetlen, Penn State Health
  • Palliative Care and How it Relates to Breast Cancer presented by Hospice of Central PA
  • Breast Reconstruction: Advances and Options presented by Dr. Brynn Wolff, UPMC Pinnacle
  • Patient Resources 101: Free Mammograms and Services through the PA Department of Health’s HealthyWoman Program presented by Siri Ready, Diane Donahue, Kathy Makara; PA Department of Health
  • Navigating your Insurance: the Bra Benefit presented by Terri Scott and Jill Robbins, The Perfect Match Boutique
  • Food for Thought: Nutrition and Breast Cancer presented by Shanna Shultz, Giant Food Stores
  • Pink Ribbon Pilates presented by Allison Zang, Absolute Pilates
  • The Benefits of Exercise During and After Treatment presented by Dr. Karen Wonders,Wright State University

Sessions are current as of 8/3/18. Additional topics are still being added so check back to our website for updates, the full schedule and workshop descriptions!

 

Warren County Survivor: “Don’t Let Cancer Define You”

Posted By on July 16th, 2018 at 2:55 pm | 0 comments.


When and how was your breast cancer survivor diagnosed?

I teach at the Warren Area High School and always have a screening mammogram before the school year begins. After my August 2015 mammogram I was called back for a follow-up and diagnosed the following month with stage 4 breast cancer. It was breast cancer that had already metastasized to my lymph nodes and liver.

Tell us about hearing a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer.
I’m living with it and pray every day but I beat it and I try to keep on beating it. If there’s a recurrence, we’ll deal with it then. Right now I’m cancer free and hope it stays that way. I take an aromatase inhibitor daily but that’s all the treatment at this point. I’m progesterone and estrogen positive and Her-2 negative so I think that helps. I’m metastatic so that means I’m living with it.

I’m grateful for all the research that’s going on. I have a friend who passed away eleven years ago and I often think that if the research was as intense then as it is now she might still be alive.

Who supported you through your diagnosis and treatment?
Number one was my husband Ted. He’s been my rock with all I’ve been through. The whole family has been a strong support.  My daughter Megan and her husband Toby have a little daughter Avery who will be 16 months old. She was born when I was going through all this and was my real bright spot. Toby is in the Air Force stationed in Tampa. My son Hank is marrying his college sweetheart in September. He was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 2016 after college and played two years in the minor leagues. He’s a personal trainer now working with baseball players, doing what he loves. My sister Barbie and I went through Livestrong at the local YMCA and she was my support through that. And I have my parents who are 89 and 85 years old and going strong and living just five minutes away from me. Warren is very small so all my colleagues in the town were supportive. Above all else is my faith. It’s so important.

How did you come to know about the PA Breast Cancer Coalition?
A woman who taught at our high school is now working at the Warren Public Library. She reached out to me and told me about the traveling photo exhibit, and asked if I would like to speak at the exhibit’s opening reception there at the library. I hadn’t heard of the PBCC before but now I have learned so much about it from reading the website. I love that you’re funding research and creating awareness and making sure that there is always a way for a woman to get a mammogram. Everyone should be able to get a mammogram, to get treatment, and you should be able to go to the best places.

 How you might complete this sentence: “Without the PBCC, ______”
Without the PBCC, it seems that many women would not have the chance for early detection with a yearly mammogram.

What advice would you offer to someone whose friend or family member has been diagnosed with breast cancer?
Don’t allow cancer to define them. I’m a mother, wife, grandmother, daughter, sister, friend, teacher, fighter, and a survivor. I won’t let cancer define who I am.

 

 

Study: Women with Early-Stage Breast Cancer May Not Need Chemotherapy

Posted By on June 5th, 2018 at 9:36 am | 0 comments.

According to a recent study, thousands of women with early-stage breast cancer do not need chemotherapy as part of their treatment regimen. The results of the largest ever breast cancer treatment trial, the TAILORx study, were published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers say the trial found evidence that 70 percent of early-stage breast cancer patients will receive no benefit from chemotherapy. The article goes on to say those patients would effectively be treated with endocrine therapy alone. The data indicated that some women 50 and younger might benefit from chemo even if gene-test results suggested otherwise. It is not clear why.

“This is a game-changer. It’s truly groundbreaking. Now, thousands of women will not have to undergo toxic chemotherapy treatment with its unwanted side effects,” said PBCC President and Founder Pat Halpin-Murphy. “The results of this clinical trial will change the way oncologists treat breast cancer every day here in Pennsylvania and across the country.”

In order to conduct the TAILORx study, researchers examined results of the Genomic Health Oncotype DX test which provides a score for the patient’s risk of recurrence. The clinical trial found that, in patients who received a score of 11 to 25, chemotherapy was not necessary. Investigators conducted gene tests on tumor samples to identify women who could skip chemo and take drugs like tamoxifen that block estrogen or stop the body from producing estrogen (endocrine therapy). Drugs like tamoxifen have been proven to reduce the risk of recurrence in breast cancer survivors.

Today, 37 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Pennsylvania, and 140,000 PA women are currently living with the disease. Early-stage breast cancer makes up half of all breast cancer diagnoses.

CLICK HERE to read the complete New England Journal of Medicine article.

 

NEW Recommendations for Breast Cancer Screening

Posted By on May 11th, 2018 at 1:32 pm | 0 comments.

 

If you are considered at higher-than-average risk for breast cancer or you have dense breast tissue, the American College of Radiology (ACR) now recommends you get an annual screening MRI in addition to a mammogram. The new recommendations, published on DenseBreast-Info.org and in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, call for MRI if a woman is considered high risk.
The ACR continues its previous recommendations, supporting MRI beginning at age 25 for women with a BRCA1 mutation.

Women are considered high-risk if they:

  • Have dense breast tissue
  • Have a family history of breast cancer
  • Have been diagnosed with breast cancer by age 50

The American College of Radiology also recommends that all women, especially black women and those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, be evaluated for breast cancer risk no later than age 30 so that a “higher risk can be identified and [the woman] can benefit from supplemental screening.”

    

Join the PBCC Team!

Posted By on May 10th, 2018 at 12:51 pm | 0 comments.


Job Opening
Data & Administrative Coordinator

Organization Background

The PA Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC) 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 with a board of directors and a network of volunteers across the state. The PBCC exists to help the over 13,000 women in this state who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, to support the families of the 2,200 women who will die from it and to serve as a resource for the hundreds of thousands more women currently living with the disease.

Position Summary

The PA Breast Cancer Coalition is seeking a highly motivated, experienced, energetic professional with excellent communication skills to work full-time (40 hours per week) in the Lebanon, PA office.
The Data & Administrative Coordinator position provides an opportunity for an exciting, challenging and rewarding career. This person is responsible for the overall constituent and data management of the PBCC.

The Data & Administrative Coordinator will work with all PBCC staff members to help keep the office running smoothly. We are looking for an ambassador, a team player, someone who can work with different personality types and is outgoing. We need someone who’s friendly, organized, detail-oriented and is willing to help with projects as needed.
This person is responsible for performing a wide range of program, administrative and workplace tasks. He/she will have the ability to organize and manage multiple projects simultaneously; problem-solve and trouble-shoot; interact well with all levels of staff, board and volunteers; and assist staff with both routine and special projects.

Key job responsibilities:

  • Enter and update constituent data and perform continual clean-up, maintenance and analysis of Raiser’s Edge database
  • Enter all gifts and pledges into the database including cash, credit card, in-kind and matching gifts
  • Send out thank you letters and gift acknowledgements
  • Input and process all donations
  • Prepare queries as requested
  • Provide support for special events including handling registration for the PBCC Annual Conference
  • Provide regular weekly reports and other reports as needed
  • Answer the general phone line and transfer calls
  • Make hotel & travel arrangements for staff members
  • Pack up materials and boxes as needed for events mail/ship items as needed
  • Travel, as needed, to provide assistance for programs and events off-site

Requirements/Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Experience with data management
  • Previous experience using Blackbaud “The Raiser’s Edge” software preferred
  • Proficient knowledge of computers including Microsoft Office packages with willingness to develop additional computer skills, adjust to other updated technology and grow academically as required
  • Highly organized with the ability to multi-task and work productively in a team setting
  • Willingness to travel and attend occasional evening and weekend events

Salary Range

This position offers a competitive non-profit salary and excellent benefits including health, dental and vision insurance, retirement plan, tuition assistance and life insurance. The salary range is $30,000-$34,000 and is dependent on education and experience.

Please submit the following to Jobs@PABreastCancer.org with “Data & Administrative Coordinator” in the subject line.

  • Cover letter
  • Resume

No phone calls please.  The PA Breast Cancer Coalition is an Equal Opportunity Employer.