The PBCC counts among its many legislative victories the Breast Cancer Reconstructive Surgery Coverage Act – which mandates that insurers cover the cost of reconstructive surgery for breast cancer survivors. So when the PBCC learned from WGAL that Courtney Morrison’s insurer was not going to cover a second reconstruction to correct a problem after her first, we knew we had to get to the bottom of the issue. Click here for the WGAL story.
The Breast Cancer Reconstructive Surgery Coverage Act, passed in 1997, requires insurers to cover the cost of reconstructive surgery after mastectomy and symmetry of the breasts within six years. However, Courtney’s employer is self-insured, and under the current legislation, self-insured employers are exempt from the requirement to cover the surgery. We hope that, with our help, Courtney’s situation will be resolved and she will be able to get coverage for the surgery.
The recent Supreme Court decision upheld major provisions of the Affordable Care Act. What does this mean for women with breast cancer? Now, any new health plan must provide mammograms without any cost to the patient. Starting in 2014, the following provisions go into effect:
- No pre-existing conditions
Insurers will no longer be able to exclude breast cancer survivors from coverage or charge them a higher premium by defining breast cancer as a pre-existing condition.
- No caps
Insurance companies cannot impose lifetime caps now or starting in 2014 annual dollar caps.
- No cancellation
Insurers can no longer cancel a breast cancer survivor’s insurance policy when she or he gets sick and needs it most.
By now, if you’re on our mailing list, you should have received the latest edition of FrontLine. The PBCC sends out this print newsletter every quarter to let you know what we’re up to across the state and how YOU can get involved!
Take a read through our online edition and share it with your friends!
It’s the PA Breast Cancer Coalition’s mission to give breast cancer survivors a voice within our Commonwealth. We believe we are that voice in the medical, legislative, insurance and corporate communities.
Since 1993, we have dedicated ourselves to finding a cure for breast cancer. Our many acclaimed statewide outreach efforts, along with our grassroots partners raise thousands of dollars for research each year. The money raised goes to people like Dr. Craig Meyers, a researcher at the Penn State College of Medicine. Dr. Meyers recently discovered a nondisease-causing virus that successfully kills breast cancer cells in the laboratory. With the help of our outreach efforts and grassroots partners we can give him the funding he needs to one day conduct human trials that will hopefully lead to a cure to breast cancer.
We believe that anyone can help make a difference in the lives of those fighting breast cancer and their families. It’s the creativity and talents of people like you that can truly make a difference. We know that the only way to end breast cancer is to find a cure and believe with your help we can do so.
My battle with breast cancer ignites my resolve to make certain that our generation is the last to ever fear breast cancer. As a mother and grandmother, I thank you for joining the PBCC’s efforts to find a cure now… so our daughters and granddaughters won’t have to.
HARRISBURG, Pa. – The PA Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC) gave an additional $100,000 research grant to Dr. Craig Meyers and his team at Penn State College of Medicine today. The announcement came at the 2011 PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference held at the Hilton Harrisburg attended by over 1,000 people. This grant marks the single-largest research contribution made by the PBCC in its 18-year history and it follows a 2007 PBCC Pennsylvania Income Tax Refund for Research grant of $35,000 to Dr. Meyers.
Through this PBCC funded research, Dr. Meyers discovered that adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2) kills breast cancer cells in every stage in the laboratory in tissue culture dishes. AAV2 is a nondisease-causing virus that kills human breast cancer cells and often infects humans. Preliminary research using AAV2 to treat breast cancer cells in a mouse model has also yielded promising results but needs further study.
“I’ve been working with this significant nondisease-causing virus that kills human breast cancer cells in the laboratory because we know that breast cancer has a complex structure and differing types,” said Dr. Craig Meyers, professor of microbiology and immunology at Penn State College of Medicine.
Referring to these exciting new findings as, “what, for decades, the medical community has worked towards and the rest of the world has been waiting for,” Pat Halpin-Murphy, president and founder of the PBCC said that her pioneering organization is thrilled to be part of Dr. Meyers’discovery of a virus that kills all stages and all types of breast cancer cells in the laboratory.
“Breast cancer survivors, their families, and all girls and women and those that care for them look forward to the final phase of this research–clinical trials with humans. While that final step may still be years away, it gives us hope that we will discover a cure so our daughters and granddaughters won’t have to. Dr. Meyers’ break-through is a real-world example that research is our best weapon in battling breast cancer,” added Halpin-Murphy.
Halpin-Murphy went on to say that “each day, 32 women in Pennsylvania are diagnosed with breast cancer and over 2,000 die every year from the devastating disease.”
“We are extremely grateful to the Coalition for their generous support of Dr. Meyers’ research,” said Richard J. Courtney, Ph.D., chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Penn State College of Medicine. “The recent findings of his research group are very exciting; however, much additional research remains to be done. This grant will be instrumental in helping Dr. Meyers and his colleagues to further advance this highly promising breast cancer research ongoing within his laboratory.”
The PBCC established and oversees the Refunds for Breast Cancer Research program, which uses donations from Pennsylvanians to fund vital research grants across the state. State residents may contribute all or part of their state income tax refund to the Refunds for Research program to help find a cure. To date, Pennsylvanians have donated over $2.8 million with the average donation from taxpayers being $8. Thanks to the PBCC’s program, nearly 70 research grants have been awarded to outstanding Pennsylvania scientists.
The 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 dedicated to finding a cure now…so our daughters and granddaughters won’t have to. For more information, visit www.PABreastCancer.org or call 800-377-8828.
According to a recent FDA report, silicone breast implants are not made to last a lifetime. Potentially half of all women who receive them for reconstruction – and 20% of women who receive the implants for augmentation — will need the implants removed within 10 years.
The conclusion was reached after the FDA examined data from post-approval studies and from its own adverse event reporting system, in conjunction with completing a literature review. Capsular contracture, reoperation, and implant removal were found to be the most frequent adverse outcomes with silicone implants. Other common adverse events of which women should be aware include implant rupture, wrinkling, asymmetry, scarring, pain, and infection. The longer the women had implants, the more likely they were to have complications.
While it is important to note that the data is preliminary, the implants did not appear to cause breast cancer, reproductive problems, or connective tissue disease. If you experience any of these difficulties or complications, talk with your doctor about your options.
Are you a breast or cervical cancer researcher in PA looking for additional funds? Dr. Marius Sudol, shown left, is a past recipient of a PBCC Refunds for Breast & Cervical Cancer Research grant – and you could be next! $50,000 competitive grants are now available to PA researchers who apply. Thanks to Pennsylvania taxpayers generously donating their state tax refunds, over $2.8 million has been raised and every penny is given out in grants to cutting edge researchers.
Please visit PBCC.me/RFA for the full Request for Application and budget forms. Letters of intent are due to the PBCC by July 29th, and full proposals are due August 30th. The grant period is January 1, 2012 to December 30, 2012.
We encourage all breast and cervical cancer researchers to apply. Help spread the word to your personal and professional network about this opportunity. Please contact PBCC Program Director, Jennifer Pensinger at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Join us in honoring the 2011 PBCC Conference Award Recipients on Tuesday, October 11! Dr. Thomas G. Frazier, Medical Director of the Main Line Health – Bryn Mawr Comprehensive Breast Center, and Mimi Barash Coppersmith, Chairman of The Barash Group, will receive the Pink Ribbon Award. Dr. Susan Domchek of the Abramson Cancer Center and the University of Pennsylvania will be presented with the Potamkin Award.
The Shining Light Award will be given to Grassroots Partners Rob Ziemba and Jon Jehrio for their continued support of the PBCC through an annual ice hockey event featuring the Hanson Brothers. These deserving individuals have each made significant contributions to the fight against breast cancer. Their contributions vary in nature, with some battling the disease in a medical setting through treating patients or conducting research while others participate through advocacy or fundraising efforts. Want to be a part of the celebration? Register now to receive the early bird rate on your registration.