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

Archive for September, 2012

PBCC President and Founder Pat Halpin-Murphy responds to breakthrough breast cancer study

Posted By on September 24th, 2012 at 2:38 pm | 0 comments.

Researchers have unveiled what they believe is a hallmark study for breast cancer patients and the doctors who treat them. Their findings, published Sunday in the journal Nature and the New York Times, are expected to pave the way for new treatment options in the coming years.

The project, funded by a larger federal grant, focused on a genetic analysis of breast cancer, which kills more than 12,000 women in Pennsylvania each year.  The scientists monitored the tumors of 825 breast cancer patients in the US. As a result, they found four distinctive types of breast cancer. Within those types, researchers say they identified at least 40 genetic alterations that might be attacked by drugs. Many of those drugs are already being developed for other types of cancers with the same mutations.

Researchers and patient advocates stress that it could still take years of research and clinical trials to incorporate the insights into new treatments. They say a wide variety of drugs will most likely need to be created and tailored to individual tumor types.

“This is a tremendous new development that will alter the way women with breast cancer are treated,” said PBCC President and Founder Pat Halpin-Murphy. “Of course, this is the first step, but I believe it’s the first step toward a cure for many types of breast cancer.”

The four types identified in the study are basal-like cancers, luminal A and B cancers, and HER2-enriched cancers. From here, doctors and researchers are hoping clinical trials and dozens of separate drug studies will help to develop new breakthroughs in treatment from the findings. Dr. Elizabeth Stark, a breast cancer patient and biochemist at Pfizer, says she knows it will take time, but she’s hopeful the research will lead to a cure. “In 10 years, it will be different,” she said. “I know I will be here in 10 years.”

To read the complete New York Times Article, visit this link: NY Times Article

To read the complete journal Nature study, visit this link: journal Nature study

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 www.PABreastCancer.org.

Survivor Spotlight – Patti Kostrubiak

Posted By on September 17th, 2012 at 11:59 am | 0 comments.

At my yearly check-up in 2004 my doctor felt a thickening in my breast. I was 39 years old so he said we should get a baseline mammogram. I had no family history or risk factors. After a biopsy, I had to decide between a lumpectomy and a mastectomy. I chose lumpectomy and they removed 15 lymph nodes and six of them were positive for breast cancer. I had chemotherapy from August through February, and then had radiation for 33 straight days.

I was really annoyed that I was diagnosed because I’m a very busy mom. I thought this is going to interrupt my schedule and I just didn’t have time! Fortunately Grand View Hospital in Sellersville is just five minutes from my house so I had radiation before work, then went to work and went about my day.

Once I finished treatment I wanted to find a way to give back. When I found the PBCC’s website I thought “this is for me.” I wanted to tell my story because if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. Now I represent Bucks County in the PBCC traveling photo exhibit and volunteered this year at the Take A Swing Against Breast Cancer home run derby in Reading.It was so much fun!

My husband John and I have two children. Our son Sean is 19 and our daughter Erin is 23. I work as a career EMT at Volunteer Medical Service Corps of Lansdale, and serve as a volunteer firefighter at Perkasie. This is something I always wanted to do, and so did my daughter. When she turned 18 she was old enough to be certified so we went through certification together. I also love to cross-stitch, scrapbook, and go to the beach.

The best advice I got was to never listen to anyone’s horror stories. You just take it one day at a time and one treatment at a time. And keep a positive attitude! That’s the biggest thing.

Take the FREE Online Course on the Free Treatment Program

Posted By on September 17th, 2012 at 11:58 am | 0 comments.

Over 800 people have taken the PBCC’s free online course on Pennsylvania’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Program, which provides free treatment for uninsured and underinsured women battling breast cancer – and YOU  should join them! The course is available for all who wish to take it, with free continuing education credits available for nurses and social workers. Click here to take it now!

Real case studies give practical examples of who is eligible for free treatment, how the program works, and the overall benefit to the women who are covered through the program. Those who take the course will have the knowledge necessary to direct women to the program so that they can get the care they need without worrying about how to pay for it.