Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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.

 

Our 2018 PBCC Research Grant Winners are…

Posted By on January 23rd, 2018 at 8:30 am | 0 comments.

Some of the best and brightest minds in breast cancer research are working right here in our state. Without funding for their projects, our scientists cannot move forward. That’s where the PBCC’s Research Grants Initiative comes in. In 2018, we are proud to award $200,000 to the following breast cancer researchers:

David Cormode, PhD
Associate Professor of Biology
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania

Sean Knecht, PhD
Instructor
School of Engineering, Technology and Professional Programs
Penn State University

Steffi Oesterreich, PhD
Professor & Vice Chair
Precision and Translational Pharmacology
Magee-Womens Research Institute at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Wendie Berg, PhD, MD, FACR
Professor of Radiology
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Our 2018 research grant recipients are studying better detection for breast cancer, genetics and breast density. The PA Breast Cancer Coalition remains focused on supporting scientists working to find the cause of and cure for breast cancer. Want to bring us closer to that cure? Donate your state income tax refund to the PBCC on Line 32 and every penny will support Pennsylvania breast cancer researchers!

FDA Approves 1st Drug for Advanced Breast Cancer Caused by BRCA1, BRCA2 Mutations

Posted By on January 21st, 2018 at 9:10 am | 0 comments.

Previous PBCC Research Award winner Dr. Susan Domchek co-led study

It’s a breakthrough for advanced breast cancer patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week approved its first treatment for advanced breast cancer caused by the inherited mutations. The drug, Lynparza (olaparib tablets), was previously approved to treat advanced ovarian cancer caused by mutations of BRCA1 or BRCA2.

University of Pennsylvania researcher and previous PBCC Research Award winner Dr. Susan Domchek co-led the study that led to the drug’s approval for breast cancer. Dr. Domchek calls the drug’s approval a significant advance for those women with triple-negative breast cancer and a BRCA mutation.

Lancaster City Police K-9 Unit Takes a “Bite Out of Breast Cancer”

Posted By on January 16th, 2018 at 2:26 pm | 0 comments.

Taking a Bite Out of Cancer, the Lancaster City Police K-9 and Mounted Units held a special fundraiser for the PA Breast Cancer Coalition in October 2017. Officers sold pink t-shirts in honor of breast cancer awareness month, with a portion of proceeds benefiting the PBCC’s life-saving work throughout the state. The first annual campaign was a doggone success, with a total of $562 going to our programs and services for breast cancer survivors in PA! The PBCC staff was thrilled when the K-9 unit stopped by our office to deliver the donation with dogs in tow! Thank you to Officers Alexander, Reppert, Hatfield and Bradley for bringing K-9s Axel, Stryker, Zoltan and Wodan to our headquarters in Lebanon for this presentation, and to Sargent Michael Gerace for spearheading this unique campaign! The PBCC is honored to be the recipients of this meaningful gift.

JOB OPENING: PBCC Hiring Full-time Program & Events Coordinator

Posted By on December 5th, 2016 at 11:06 am | 0 comments.

PBCC LOGOJob Opportunity
Program & Events Coordinator

Position Title: Program & Events Coordinator
Position Type: Full-time
Location: Lebanon, PA

Position Summary
The PA Breast Cancer Coalition is seeking a highly motivated and energetic professional with excellent communication skills to work full-time in the Lebanon, PA office. This position will require some travel across Pennsylvania to committee meetings and will include some night/weekend work.
The Program & Events Coordinator will manage the PBCC’s traveling photo exhibit, “67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in PA” and will also assist other staff members on programs such as the PBCC’s Community Advocacy and Research Education for Students (CARES) program, and our Research Grant publicity events. We’re seeking a people person, someone who can work with different personality types and is serious about getting the job done. We need someone who’s reliable, focused, friendly, and detail-oriented.
The ideal candidate should possess a minimum of two years’ experience handling all aspects of event and program planning, be proficient in MS Office and the Adobe Design Suite of programs, have strong oral/written communication skills and work well in a fast-paced team environment.

Key Job Responsibilities
-Oversee all details of the PBCC’s travelling photo exhibit: “67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania”
-Assist with the PBCC’s CARES program and Research Grant publicity events
-Develop new relationships, additional event sponsorships and/or and grassroots partner events by growing program related contacts
-Write event recaps for PBCC publications as needed
-Help with general communications duties as needed such as taking photos, shooting video, graphic design and social media
-Travel, as needed, to provide oversight and assistance for programs and events off-site
-Performs other duties as required

Requirements/Qualifications
-At least 2 years’ experience coordinating special events
-Self-starter with extraordinary organizational skills and ability to prioritize
-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
-Comfort using Microsoft Office suite, Adobe InDesign and Photoshop
-Excellent communication skills
-Must possess a current and valid driver’s license

Salary Range
$30,000-$33,000- dependent on education and experience. This position offers a competitive non-profit salary and excellent benefits including paid leave, healthcare, dental, life insurance and tuition assistance.
Please submit the following to Jobs@PABreastCancer.org with “Program & Events Coordinator” in the subject line.
– Cover letter
– Resume

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

From the desk of: PA Rep. Matt Baker

Posted By on October 17th, 2016 at 3:53 pm | 0 comments.

rep-baker-headshot-for-plHouse Health Committee Chair sheds light on what Breast Cancer Awareness Month means to him

This past year I was humbled and honored to receive the PA. Breast Cancer Coalition Pink Ribbon award, their highest award, and dedicate it to my sister-in-law fighting a rare form of inflammatory breast cancer.

Every woman who conquers breast cancer has an amazing story to share of their journey.  The one common thread in every story is that early detection saves lives.  October is “Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” and it’s hard to forget with pink ribbons, ties, and professional athletes wearing pink.

The statistics bear repeating.  One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.  Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and is the second leading cause of cancer death among women.  Each year, more than 246,660 women and 40,000 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the nation.

One statistic that is trending in a positive direction is the number of people – 2.8 million – who are breast cancer survivors.  They are living full lives after having been diagnosed.

Pennsylvania is making strides in the continued effort to support those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.  The Breast Density Notification Act requires mammography providers to notify women categorized as having dense breast tissue and about their condition.  Knowledge is power and this law has improved detection and prevention by educating patients about dense breast tissue and how it could conceal possible abnormalities during mammographic procedures.

Three-dimensional mammograms were approved by the Food and Drug Administration five years ago.  In 2014, the American College of Radiology declared tomosynthesis, the medical term for three-dimensional mammography, to no longer be a mere investigational tool.  Pennsylvania followed up last year by becoming the first state to require insurers to cover all screening mammograms, including the 3-D versions, at no out-of-pocket cost to consumers.  To see a list of the mammography facilities that offer 3D mammograms in Pennsylvania, please visit the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition’s website at pabreastcancer.org

In July Pennsylvania became the 42nd state to provide patients equal access to anti-cancer treatments with the enactment of oral chemotherapy legislation (Act 73 of 2016).  I was proud to author the enabling Oral Chemo Parity Legislation (House Bill 60).

Chemotherapy can have a violent effect on the human body as it does its job.  Oral chemotherapy drugs are often as strong as those administered intravenously and may have fewer side effects.  In some instances, oral medications are the only form of chemotherapy a patient can handle.

There is also the financial impact.  Prior to Act 73, orally-administered chemotherapy was covered under a health plan’s pharmacy benefit, which required patients to pay a percentage of the total cost of the drug (generally between 25-30 percent).  This created an enormous financial barrier for patients to access these drugs prescribed by their cancer physician for treatment.  Act 73 prohibits insurance policies from placing oral anti-cancer medications on a specialty tier or charging a copay for the medication.

Hopefully, these measures will help in saving lives and make treatment of breast cancer more tolerable and successful.  The end goal is to eradicate this disease.  Continued support of innovative and high-impact research will someday hopefully lead to the cure.

First in the Nation: Governor Wolf Signs Statement Covering 3D Mammograms in PA

Posted By on August 16th, 2016 at 10:15 am | 0 comments.

Pat and Governor Wolf rounded cornersOn October 5, 2015, Governor Tom Wolf made Pennsylvania the first state in the nation to require insurance coverage of 3D screening mammograms for women insured under PA law. First Lady Frances Wolf made the historic announcement almost one year ago at the PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference in Harrisburg. Now, 3D screenings mammograms are covered at no additional cost to insured women and women covered through Medicaid.

To mark the 1st anniversary of the groundbreaking news, the PBCC is informing women across the state about how to access 3D screening mammograms in their area. We’ve launched a 1-question survey of all mammography centers. At our Conference October 10, we will release a list of the Pennsylvania 3D mammography centers. The list will also be published on our website, in our Frontline newsletter and right here in PinkLink.

Do you work for a mammography center that offers 3D screening mammograms? Don’t miss the list! Take the survey now and make sure your facility is listed as a 3D mammography provider.

Take the survey button

VP’s Moonshot Summit Focuses on Future of Cancer Prevention, Treatment

Posted By on July 14th, 2016 at 9:25 am | 0 comments.

Moonshot Summit for PL roundedPBCC President and Founder Pat Halpin-Murphy was among doctors, patients and advocates invited to the Cancer Moonshot Summit at Fox Chase Cancer Center on June 29. The national effort spearheaded by Vice President Joe Biden aims to advance cancer research, increase patient access to treatment and to support patients across the country.

The ultimate goal of the Cancer Moonshot is to double the rate of progress toward a cure for cancer. The PA Breast Cancer Coalition was honored to be part of this historic event!

Click here to watch Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks from the summit.

Click here to watch the recording of Fox Chase’s moonshot summit.