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Green Bay Press-Gazette | Wednesday, October 9th

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Wednesday, October 9th | Green Bay Press-Gazette

anyribb n anycolor a special cancer awareness section

The Healing Power of Pets

A breast cancer survivor finds support from four-legged friends

Rethinking the Cancer Care Model


Organizations & EventS

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Wednesday, October 9th | Green Bay Press-Gazette

Celebrate Life’s Little Pleasures Birthday’s are like shoes, you can never have enough!

Over 40?

Schedule your mammogram today. At Bellin Hospital, when you have a mammogram we will read the film immediately. If the mammogram looks fine, we’ll provide you with a written report of your results before you go home. But, if we find something that needs attention, we will notify our Breast Health Coordinator. She’ll talk with you, explain the results, your options, and set up a visit with a breast specialist, if you want. All within 24 hours.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Early detection can save your life.

REMEMBER: Mammogram appointments require a physician referral. If you need a physician call (920) 445-7373.

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Green Bay Press-Gazette | Wednesday, October 9th

anyribb n anycolor a special cancer awareness section


Wonder Dogs: A breast cancer survivor finds hope with help from her four-legged friends


Upcoming Local Events: Honor cancer survivors and those who have lost their battle with the disease by attending area events or supporting these cancerfocused organizations.

6 Altering the Course of Cancer Care: Paradigm shift in care model serves to transform lives



Surviving and Smiling: Side Effect Support LLC strives to improve oral health and wellbeing of cancer patients Clinical Trials play defining role in cancer treatments

Any ribbon, any color is an advertorial section published by the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Contents of the section are for Green Bay Press-Gazette. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior consent of Green Bay Press-Gazette. For information, contact Amelia Compton Wolff at 920-431-8213 or email


Experts. Treatment options. Cancer survivors.

Publisher / Scott Johnson | Advertising Manager / Lori O’Connor Editor / Amelia Compton Wolff | Graphic Design / Kristy Gnadt Writers / Amelia Compton Wolff, Meghan Diemel, Jennifer Hogeland


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Wednesday, October 9th | Green Bay Press-Gazette

wonder dogs A breast cancer survivor finds hope with help from her four-legged friends Story By Amelia Compton Wolff Photos By Jennifer Comins of Pose Photografix

Before Annie Ranft begins sharing her cancer story,

before she reveals that she had a malignant tumor the size of an avocado pit removed from her right breast, she first shares photographs of her long-time companion and pet pug, Oatie. In Ranft’s mind, Oatie is the story. In many ways, she’s right. “Her full name is Oata-Mae, but I call her Oatie for short,” the 62-yearold De Pere woman says and smiles. “She was such a loving dog.” Ranft, a devoted dog lover who has been affectionately dubbed “the pug lady of De Pere” by locals, was an energetic woman working fulltime and going to school when she discovered a lump while performing a breast self-exam in December 2010. “I remember standing in the shower saying no, it can’t be,” she says. “I didn’t want to believe it was cancer. I looked at it like an intrusion. I didn’t have time for that.” Ranft admits she didn’t routinely perform self-exams, but something had prompted her this time. For the past several weeks, Oatie had been nipping at Ranft’s right breast, a behavior the 11-year-old pug had never exhibited before. “They say animals sense things,” Ranft says. “She knew that I had cancer.” Before the eye rolls commence, there is new research to support Ranft’s theory. Studies suggest the powerful olfactory receptors in dogs can be used to detect cancer in humans. The phenomenon is currently being

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Green Bay Press-Gazette | Wednesday, October 9th

documented by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Working Dog Center where canines are being trained to sniff out ovarian cancer markers. A study conducted at the Schillerhöhe Hospital in Germany concluded that dogs have the ability to recognize the scent of certain organic compounds in the human body which are linked to lung cancer with a 70 percent accuracy rate. Ranft went to St. Vincent Hospital on New Year’s Eve for a mammogram and three weeks into 2011 it was confirmed that she had Grade 3 Stage 2 breast cancer. Dr. Carrie Ann Thoms, a Prevea Health breast surgeon, explains that cancer staging indicates tumor size and whether or not cancer has spread in the body, while grade has to do with the biology of the cancer and how likely a tumor is to grow and spread. Grade 3 tumors, as in Ranft’s case, tend to grow rapidly and spread faster than tumors with a lower grade. “When we treat cancer now, we have to individualize to each patient,” Dr. Thoms says. “We look at a patient’s cancer biology as well as stage.” Ranft underwent a lumpectomy in early February and began chemotherapy and radiation treatment soon after. During this time of uncertainty and discomfort, Ranft believes she fared better than most thanks to her canine companionship. “I wasn’t really miserable during my treatment,” she says. “As long as I had

Oatie to come home to, [she] made me so happy.” That’s what made what happened next unfathomable. One evening while petting Oatie, Ranft discovered a lump. She immediately took Oatie to a Dr. Patrick Warpinski at The Animal House Pet Clinic in Green Bay to have the lump removed. She was able to pay for the surgery with the last of her savings, her own health condition having taken a toll on her finances. “I had zilch in savings. I was struggling,” Ranft says. “They didn’t know what kind of tumor it was, so we froze it so when I got money I could find out.” Unfortunately, Ranft never was able to find out. That June, Oatie passed away. “When she died it was a void. That really made me sadder than the cancer,” Ranft says. Eventually Ranft was able to open her heart to another dog and adopted Abby, a new pug companion for her and her surviving pug, Dewy. It’s been two years since Ranft underwent surgery. She will continue treatment every three months for the next year and then every six months for the last two years of her five-year treatment plan. This past spring, Ranft shared her story at Paws Parade of Hope, a fundraiser that celebrates the healing power of pets and supports Green Bay residents in their fight against cancer. In 2007, years before her diagnosis, Ranft participated in the

I remember standing in the shower saying no, it can’t be. I didn’t want to believe it was cancer.” - Annie Ranft

fundraiser’s pet fashion show benefitting Beacon House and Community Benefit Tree, two cancer support organizations Ranft utilized throughout her treatment. “Who would have thought four years later I would be using their services and five years later I would be speaking at Paws Parade of Hope?”

Ranft marvels. Ranft’s experience with cancer has inspired a new passion – giving back to the community. Ranft has dreams of starting a non-profit to offer resources and support for dogs with cancer and their owners.

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Wednesday, October 9th | Green Bay Press-Gazette

upcoming localevents By Jennifer Hogeland

Honor cancer survivors and those who have lost their battle with the disease by attending area events or supporting these cancer-focused organizations.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 Tramon Williams Annual Powder Puff Game

Altering the Course of Cancer Care Paradigm shift in care model serves to transform lives By Meghan Diemel • 920-321-1361 Come and cheer on Green Bay Packers’ wives as they play football to support the American Cancer Society in their fight against breast cancer. The game will be held at the Ashwaubenon High School football stadium on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Gates open at 4:30 p.m.; kickoff is at 6 p.m.

Saturday, October 26, 2013 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Green Bay • 920-321-1361

Join the American Cancer Society and thousands across the country for the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event on Saturday, Oct. 26. The walk honors breast cancer survivors while raising awareness and funds to help the American Cancer Society fight the disease with research, information and services.

Saturday, January 25, 2014 Chili Dump sponsored by Ribbon of Hope • 920-339-9300

Join the Ribbon of Hope for their annual Chili Dump on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. Check the Ribbon of Hope Web site for details soon to be released. continued on page 8 >>>

While cancer patients in the past have been subjected to an “eradicate at all costs” type of treatment plan, a paradigm shift is occurring in the cancer care model. With some types of cancer, it’s now possible – and better for the patient’s well-being – to live with the illness while it’s treated periodically or in some cases, not at all, says Dr. Jerry Winkler, an oncologist with Green Bay Oncology. Dr. Winkler explains that the initial cancer care model was buoyed by President Nixon, who in 1971 “declared war on cancer” by signing the National Cancer Act; this created much of the current research structure and shined the spotlight on the disease. “I don’t think there’s any question that the initial perception and metaphor of this disease was crucial in galvanizing public response, in developing a funding structure and shattering the taboo of talking about it,” Dr. Winkler reflects. “That metaphor really changed things and, I think, in large part led to the social will to address this problem. And from that, we have three generations of wonderful progress.” Dr. Winkler says that while he’s grateful for how that metaphor helped revolutionize cancer treatment, as time progressed medicine fine-tuned its focus and discovered cancer is a complex family of diseases that isn’t always served well by the “total warfare” approach. “I think the first thing to understand is that cancer is some ways a disease like heart disease,” he explains. “It’s a common pattern of disease in humans. It’s not an unnatural thing, most

of the time. Cancer, in most respects, is more ‘self’ than it is ‘foreign.’ For so many people now, it’s a chronic illness to be lived with and managed in a periodic way or in a less intensive way. And people will actually do better and live longer if we aren’t overly aggressive in treatment.” Jen Hickey and Kim Demeny, co-founders of Connect Inc., a cancer concierge, in Green Bay, saw a large difference in the way their father’s lung cancer was treated from 1997-98 and treatment of the glioblastoma (GBM) Kim’s husband, Michael Hermes, was diagnosed with in 2010. “In 1997 our father was diagnosed with lung cancer,” explains Hickey. “Because the diagnosis was lung cancer, the prognosis was poor. We were told that he could try chemotherapy, which may prolong his life, but that with this disease his life would be cut short. No hope was offered because there was no cure. Our focus was on managing until the end, rather than living your life without focusing on the disease.” Lee Demeny passed away from his lung cancer in 1998. A little more than a decade later, Kim’s husband began treatment for his GBM. “Michael was in Los Angeles at Cedars Sinai, and he had just gone through his second craniotomy to remove necrosis (dead cells),” says De-

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Green Bay Press-Gazette | Wednesday, October 9th

meny. “After a successful resection, Michael went through intense therapy before returning to Green Bay. The discharge orders from Dr. Surasak Phuphanich stated that this brain tumor would now be managed as a way of life, rather than solely a threat. “It was a paradigm shift in thinking about a GBM as a pending death sentence to the hope of managing the cancer and controlling it,” continues Demeny. “So Michael could continue his quality of life and have time and hope for a new treatment or cure.” Demeny says that a GBM in the past may have meant little time left and poor quality of life, the new way of thinking helped them get past the sad news and look for hope in the diagnosis. It’s important to remember, says Dr. Winkler, there are cancers that are still well served by that intense method used for many years, but it’s not the endgame 100 percent of the time any longer. Whether to treat, how soon to treat, and how much treatment is actually necessary are all questions that will be asked once a diagnosis is made. “Just even asking those questions is so profoundly different,” says Dr. Winkler. “‘Cancer’ doesn’t mean that we need to start blasting away. We’ve learned the hard way that more treatment doesn’t always give better results. Sometimes more treatment only increases side effects, not cure rates. “Our understanding of this disease will always change, and we’ll always be looking for new and better tools,” he adds. “And doing better with the tools we do have.”

Yo u c a n h e lp finish the fight against breas t cancer. Dr. Jerry Winkler


doesn’t mean that we need to start blasting away. We’ve learned the hard way that more treatment doesn’t always give better results.”

The American Cancer Society invests in ground-breaking breast cancer research and helps women in every community. In fact, one in two women newly diagnosed with breast cancer turns to us for everything from information about clinical trials to getting rides to treatments. Together, we can create a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays. Join Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and let’s finish the fight.

Sign up at Saturday, October 26 Ashwaubenon High School Green Bay

Dr. Jerry Winkler, an oncologist with Green Bay Oncology WI-5001701439

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Wednesday, October 9th | Green Bay Press-Gazette

annualevents Jerry Parins Cruise for Cancer

This June motorcycle ride starts and ends at Vandervest Harley-Davidson. To date, riders have raised nearly $700,000 to benefit cancer patients and their families throughout Northeast Wisconsin. The 2014 ride is set for June 14.

K-9 for Cancer Walk/Run 920-468-5580

Every September, walkers and runners lace up their tennis shoes to benefit cancer patients in Northeast Wisconsin. The walk takes place at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary; more information is available at the Packerland Kennel Club or Golrusk Petcare Center.

Paws Parade of Hope This annual fundraiser presented by Cancer Fighters of Green Bay honors pets for their therapeutic and healing powers that the animals have in the lives of those battling catastrophic and chronic illnesses. The 2014 Paws Parade of Hope will be held on Sunday, April 13, from 12:30-4 p.m. at the Riverside Ballroom.

Riah’s Ride for Childhood Cancer

Every year in late July or early August, motorcycle riders participate in an afternoon ride to benefit Riah’s Rainbow, a non-profit organization to improve a child’s stay in the hospital.

Ribbon of Hope Golf Challenge • 920-339-9300 The Ribbon of Hope hosts an annual golf challenge at Thornberry Creek Country Club every summer. Next year’s event is set for Monday, June 23, 2014.

surviving andsmiling Side Effect Support LLC strives to improve oral health and wellbeing of cancer patients

Tee Up for Ovarian Cancer • 920-366-4672

The Ovarian Cancer Community Outreach puts on an annual golf outing fundraiser every summer. Mark your calendar for next year’s golf outing: Friday, July 25.

By Jennifer Hogeland

The entire body

Titletown Bike Tour

feels the pain of fighting cancer. As a registered dental hygienist, Jill Meyer-Lippert not only saw the side effects chemotherapy and radiation can have in the mouth but she identified a disconnect between a cancer patient’s medical and dental care. Meyer-Lippert took matters into her own hands. For years, she put together sample bags of dental products for a local oncology department to give to cancer • 920-498-2285

Pink Pumpkin 5k Walk/Fun Run The Breast Cancer Family Foundation sponsors an annual Pink Pumpkin 5k Walk/Fun Run every fall in De Pere. Money raised allows the Breast Cancer Family Foundation to promote cancer awareness and conduct prevention classes within the community.

Every July, the Breast Cancer Family Foundation encourages families and bike enthusiasts of all levels are able to enjoy a beautiful, scenic ride ranging in length from 15k-100k throughout Northern Brown and Southern Oconto counties while raising cancer awareness. continued on page 11 >>>


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patients. When the economic downturn hit, samples were harder to come by and Meyer-Lippert struggled to keep the program going. In March 2012, Meyer-Lippert took a leap of faith. She launched Side Effect Support LLC, a business focused on the oral aspects of cancer treatments. She says, “We are really trying to be proactive and to address oral health in a more preventative way.”

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Green Bay Press-Gazette | Wednesday, October 9th

Every moment is a gift

Jewelry designed for and dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness

Meyer-Lippert has been in the dental industry for more than 20 years and she’s cared for countless cancer survivors. Her experience and her family’s strong history of cancer inspired Meyer-Lippert to take a number of courses in oncology and to educate the community on the oral side effects of cancer treatments – cavities and dental diseases that impact the body’s ability to fight cancer. Side Effect Support offers education to patients and caregivers as well as healthcare providers. The organization’s website is a wealth of information. Meyer-Lippert is spreading her message through social media. She adds, “We are slowly making our way into dental offices – I’ll go in and train the entire staff so they all have an understanding of the needs of the cancer patient.” Side Effect Support also works directly with patients to address their unique oral needs during chemotherapy or radiation treatments. “We offer products that are designed for their specific needs – something as simple as an extra soft compact toothbrush is so important for someone who is susceptible to mouth sores,” says MeyerLippert. “To find one at the store is nearly impossible and we take all the products they need and put them in one, easy-tofind area, so those that are overwhelmed by their situation don’t have to run around, trying to find everything they need.” Meyer-Lippert operates Side Effect Support out her Manitowoc home. She continues to work at a dental hygienist four days

What happens inside the mouth can affect the rest of the body. If these issues are addressed at diagnosis cancer patients wouldn’t suffer from treatment side effects unnecessarily.” - Jill Meyer-Lippert a week. When she’s not in the dental office, Meyer-Lippert has been scheduling meetings with local oncology departments to encourage the development of protocols to address oral needs at diagnosis, before treatment begins. “My ultimate vision is for the medical field and the dental field to be on the same page, not operating as separate entities,” says Meyer-Lippert. “What happens inside the mouth can affect the rest of the body. If these issues are addressed at diagnosis cancer patients wouldn’t suffer from treatment side effects unnecessarily.”

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clinicaltrials play defining role in cancer treatments By Meghan Diemel

Cancer treatment may seem routine nowadays, but what’s not often known is that many treatments emanated from a clinical trial. Though clinical trials are sometimes thought of as last-chance treatments, they’re now commonly used on the front-end of treatment plans and have significantly impacted the success of cancer treatment in the United States. One of the landmark clinical trials in the U.S. was published back in the late ’80s, says Dr. William Owens, breast surgeon at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay. It compared the results of a whole mastectomy for women who had a lump in the breast to a lumpectomy with radiation. Dr. Owens says he remembers it being a huge debate in the medical community.

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Green Bay Press-Gazette | Wednesday, October 9th

“A clinical trial was set up and it showed that the survival is equivalent; in other words, now you don’t have to have the entire breast removed, under proper circumstances. You can have the lump removed with proper radiation. It was a landmark example of a clinical trial and led to huge change in the way we treat patients.” Clinical trials tend to come through a consortium of physicians, explains Dr. Owens; many different institutions and investigators work together and look at previous trial results, ask questions about future treatment plans, and promote their promising ideas. “They then come up with a very carefully detailed plan as to just how the trial will be performed,” he states. “From there, it’s sent through institutional review boards (IRB). They look at the trial to make sure that it’s appropriate, that there’s not going to be any unnecessary risk to patients and that it’s an ethical trial. Then statisticians are involved to figure out how many patients are needed for the trial to answer the questions we want to answer.” Clinical trials have evolved to include patients who are not just at major research facilities, like universities, but even in smaller community hospitals, like Aurora BayCare. Donna Jonet, 60, of Green Bay, is one of the people undergoing a clinical trial at Aurora BayCare. She was diagnosed last October with ductile breast cancer. Jonet’s cancer stained slightly positive for the Her2 protein, which is a marker for aggressiveness in cancer cells. In the past, patients whose cancer was Her2 2+ and 3+ (on a spectrum of 0-3) were treated with Herceptin, a revolutionary antibody-directed drug. It had significant success in those patients, so the thought was that it could also help those patients on the lower end of the spectrum. “In Donna’s trial, half of them will receive Herceptin and half won’t,” explains Dr. Owens. “Then the two groups will be followed to see how

organizations American Cancer Society • 920-338-1541

The American Cancer Society provides countless resources for the community to learn about cancer, find support and treatment, explore research and get involved.

Angel Fund for Children with Cancer • 920432-0800

Dr. William Owens, breast surgeon at Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay

they do. If the results do show that it helps, then the day will come where everybody in Donna’s situation will be offered the medicine; she’ll have helped those people in the future who wouldn’t have gotten it without this trial.” Jonet says she agreed right away to the trial, and gives credit to the support she has from both Aurora BayCare and her family and friends. “It’s going really well,” she says. “So far, there’s been no sickness, no minor aches or pains – I’m happy. And well, a lot has to do with the support team you’re working with. I couldn’t ask for a better team. I’m very, very happy.” Patients at Aurora BayCare’s breast center are chosen for trials during multidisciplinary cancer clinic meetings each week. Each new patient’s case is discussed, and from there, a nursing team devoted specifically to clinical trials helps determine if the patient in question qualifies for any trials available. “Aurora BayCare is real proud of our participation in clinical trials,” says Dr. Owens. “It’s been a major emphasis of cancer care services here, and especially in breast cancer. We currently have 11 active trials in place.” The added costs are often not that significant for a trial, says Dr. Owens, and each patient who agrees to participate is taking medicine one step closer to finding improved treatment plans or even a cure. “If I can help women down the line in the future, I am willing to do it,” says Jonet. “I’ve been doing fantastic through it all. I’m doing good.”

Angel Fund for Children with Cancer connects families with a child diagnosed with cancer or bone marrow failure to community and national resources for social support and financial assistance.

Breast Cancer Family Foundation • 920-498-2285

The Breast Cancer Family Foundation (BCFF) was founded to honor women who have fought, are fighting or will someday fight breast cancer.

Encore encore • 920-432-5581 x135 The YWCA Encore Program combines physical and emotional support with education for women who are going through or have completed cancer treatment.

Families of Children with Cancer, Inc.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Green Bay • 920-321-1361 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is the largest network of breast cancer awareness events in the nation, uniting nearly 300 communities in the fight. The Green Bay Making Strides Against Breast Cancer has two events each year – a walk and Tramon Williams Annual Powder Puff Game.

Ovarian Cancer Community Outreach • 920-366-4672 The mission of the Ovarian Cancer Community Outreach organization is threefold – assist with financial support to offset the cost of ovarian cancer treatments, promote ovarian cancer awareness and financially support research to improve the survival rates of women with ovarian cancer.

Riah’s Rainbow

One little girl’s battle with a rare and inoperable brain tumor six years ago inspired the creation of this non-profit organization to enrich the lives of children who have to endure any length of stay in the hospital.

Ribbon of Hope • 920-339-9300 Ribbon of Hope is a financial, informational and emotional resource for those battling breast cancer which has distributed over $1.1 million to area men and women to help with bills while they are in treatment. • 920-406-9667

Families of Children with Cancer, Inc. believes when a child is sick, the entire family is affected. A wide range of support and activities are available for families in Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula struggling with childhood cancer.

STINGCANCER • 920-391-2400 STINGCANCER is Green Bay Preble’s cancer awareness group. High school students, faculty and staff are dedicated to reducing the effects of cancer by initiating and supporting programs for the school and community.

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Wednesday, October 9th | Green Bay Press-Gazette

“At Aurora BayCare, I found a cancer team focused on me.” It was during Patty’s yearly mammogram that a suspicious area was found. Follow-up testing confirmed it was breast cancer. Aurora Cancer Care at Aurora BayCare Medical Center has a unique program for patients with certain types of cancer. It’s the Multidisciplinary Cancer Clinic. In one day, you will meet with a team of doctors, including radiation and medical oncologists, breast and plastic surgeons, genetic counselors and cancer researchers. Together the team determines the best treatment plan for you.

Visit today.

Scan the QR code to learn more about Patty’s story.

For questions, please call 866-837-7576. 2845 Greenbrier Road | Green Bay, WI 54311

Breast cancer survivor, Patty Gille and her husband, John Gille b130937 (9/13) ©AHC WI-5001709532

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