Finding a cure now...so our daughters won't have to.

Archive for April, 2012

Survivor Spotlight – Heather Vail

Posted By on April 13th, 2012 at 9:02 am | 0 comments.

I attended my first PBCC conference in 2001 when my good friend Helen Harshbarger was honored with the Shining Light award. Through Helen, I also became involved with the PBCC’s traveling photo exhibit. Then in 2006 my routine mammogram uncovered a density. I had a biopsy, just to be sure it was nothing to be concerned about but as it turned out, it was breast cancer. I had surgery, radiation, and was on tamoxifen for the next five years.

I had worked in the women’s center at Guthrie Hospital for quite some time, but until you’ve walked in those shoes yourself you really don’t know what it’s like. I was always supportive of patients and friends but being on the receiving end of that support showed me how important that is.

One of my two sons was in Iraq at the time of my diagnosis and I didn’t tell him about it. I didn’t want him worrying about me while I was worrying about him. My other son, my husband, my daughter-in-law, friends and neighbors were wonderful! Faith in God helped me get through surgery and recovery.

Now I work in the breast center at Guthrie, and one of the things I enjoy most is stepping in for Karen Cartwright, the nurse navigator, when she’s not available. I take the patient’s history, ask them how they are doing, and let them know that I’ve been through it too.

I like to read, walk my two rescue dogs, and work in my garden. My husband Red and I also have a 12 year-old cat that dislikes everyone and tolerates the dogs. I follow professional football and am an avid Penn State fan. I also watch “Dancing with the Stars,” and I actually vote!

Heather is featured in the PBCC’s traveling photo exhibit 67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania.  See Heather’s photo and quote at any of our Spring opening receptions.

Breast Cancer Risks Associated With Lynch Syndrome

Posted By on April 13th, 2012 at 9:01 am | 0 comments.

A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on cancer risks associated with Lynch syndrome yielded some unexpected results about increased risk of breast cancer. Lynch syndrome, an inherited condition, is caused by mutations in particular genes that are involved in repairing DNA damage, and had previously been linked to increased risk of colon, uterus, ovary, kidney, stomach, and bladder cancer. This study showed a significant increase in breast and pancreatic cancer as well.

Findings after five years showed that individuals with Lynch syndrome had a four-fold greater risk of developing breast cancer than those in the general population. The study also showed those with Lynch syndrome had a tendency to be diagnosed with these cancers at an earlier age than those diagnosed with these cancers in the general population. The findings on breast cancer suggest a need for further study to determine the optimal age for mammography for patients with Lynch syndrome and whether other tests such as breast MRI should be recommended.

Home Run Derby Website a Fundraising Hit!

Posted By on April 13th, 2012 at 9:00 am | 0 comments.

With baseball season hitting its stride, preparations for the Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer home run derby are in full swing. The Bethlehem Bombers – a team of young men stepping up to the plate when the derby rolls in to Reading on July 17 – have been using the PBCC’s new Donate to a Team feature to raise money through a personalized website. After exceeding their initial goal of raising $500 for the derby, these guys upped the ante and are now working toward a $2,000 goal! Register now and make a page for your team – or yourself!

Team and individual batter sign ups are open, so register today! Your registration will get you signed up for a day of fun at a ballpark of your choice. Your registration fee covers a batter’s jersey, program, souvenir team photo, gift bag and an experience you won’t soon forget to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.

There are also many great sponsorship opportunities available to meet any budget. If you want to find out more on how your business can be involved as a sponsor, check out these available opportunities.

The PBCC is also in need of volunteers to help out each day of the derby. If you want to help, please complete the online form.

Refunds for Breast Cancer Research Kick-Off at Capitol

Posted By on April 13th, 2012 at 8:59 am | 0 comments.

Donate Your State Income Tax Refund Today

The PBCC presented Allan Lipton, M.D. of the Penn State College of Medicine with a $50,000 grant at a kick-off event for the 2012 Refunds for Breast and Cervical Cancer Research Campaign at the Capitol Building. Michael Wolf , Executive Deputy Secretary at the PA Department of Health, and Debbie Freer, a breast cancer survivor and PBCC Board Member joined PBCC President & Founder Pat Halpin-Murphy in speaking at the event.

Dr. Lipton was one of three Pennsylvania researchers chosen to receive a research grant this year through the PBCC’s Refunds for Breast and Cervical Cancer Research program. His research centers on metastases and whether a biomarker can be found in blood to help doctors determine which of two FDA-approved therapies would be more effective in treating the patient. The two other researchers – Andy Minn, M.D., Ph.D. and Takemi Tanaka, Ph.D. – were presented with their grants at an event held at Philadelphia City Hall in February.

With only days left to file your taxes, be sure to check yes on line 35 of your PA state income tax form to donate all or part of your refund to the PBCC’s Refunds for Research program.

Online Free Treatment Course Now Available!

Posted By on April 13th, 2012 at 8:58 am | 0 comments.

Since the launch of the PBCC’s online course on Pennsylvania’s FREE Treatment for Breast and Cervical Cancer program on March 7, more than 110 people have learned how to help uninsured and underinsured women get the treatment and care they need to fight a breast cancer diagnosis. You too can take the course and learn how this program saves lives! The free online course is open to all and the continuing education credits for nurses and social workers are free.

Here is some of the feedback the PBCC has received from those who took the online course:

“This was exceptional!! Thanks so much for providing this valuable info – I hope many people take advantage of the learning opportunity.”

“Thank you so much for offering this course. I am currently enrolled in the program and quite honestly it has been a true lifesaver. I would hate to think where I would be if this program did not exist. I wanted to learn more about the program so I could educate others.”

“I found this course to be very helpful. I work as an ER social worker and occasionally have women – especially young women with families – who would qualify for this program.”

York Kia Ladies Month

Posted By on April 5th, 2012 at 3:39 pm | 0 comments.

During the month of March, York Kia was honoring all of the women in our lives. They chose to donate $50 from each new car sold to the PBCC to raise awareness of breast cancer in the state. Thanks to the efforts of the entire staff, York Kia donated $2,000!! Thanks for sharing the importance of early detection and education!

York Kia Ladies Month

Pictured are Debbie Simon, breast cancer survivor; JoAnn Graham, breast cancer survivor; Heather Hibshman, Executive Director of the PBCC; Don Meluzio, Owner of York Kia; and Jeff Staub, New Car Sales Manager of York Kia.