On the front line in the battle against breast cancer.
PBCC Launches 2011 Refunds for Research Campaign
Adding their voices to the PBCC kick off of the 2011 Refunds for Research campaign, event speakers included Kim Leitzel, State Representative Karen Boback, Pat Halpin-Murphy, State Senator Christina Tartaglione, Karen Durkish, CPA, and Deputy Secretary Janice Kopelman. One of the young faces of the PBCC campaign, Molly (not pictured), was presented with a stuffed bear at the conclusion of the event.
he State Capitol is no stranger to debate, but all who joined the PBCC in the Main Rotunda to launch the 2011 Refunds for Breast Cancer Research campaign were in agreement over the importance of breast cancer research to ultimately finding a cure. Refunds for Research is the PBCC’s program to encourage PA residents to donate all or part of their state tax return to fund breast cancer research in our state. PBCC President & Founder, Pat Halpin-Murphy explained the history of the program before introducing speakers State Senator Christine Tartaglione, State Representative Karen Boback, and Janice Kopelman, Deputy Secretary of the PA Department of Health. Later, Karen Durkish, CPA and Manager at McKonly & Asbury, LLP highlighted how easy it is for taxpayers to contribute, and Kim Leitzel, Senior Research Associate for former grant winner Dr. Allan Lipton spoke about how important the grants from this program are to researchers. Pennsylvania taxpayers are asked to check yes on line 35 of the PA-40 state income tax form to donate all or part of your state income tax return to fund breast cancer research performed by researchers based in Pennsylvania.
The PBCC Welcomes First Lady Susan Corbett as Honorary Chair of the Annual Conference
he PA Breast Cancer Coalition is pleased to announce First Lady Susan Corbett as Honorary Chair of the PBCC Annual Conference scheduled this year for October 11, 2011. As the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, Mrs. Corbett will bring special passion, dedication and leadership to the cause. Mrs. Corbett is a Schuylkill County native, born and raised in Pine Grove. She met her husband Tom Corbett while attending Lebanon Valley College. Later they married and raised two children, Tom and Kate, while living outside of Pittsburgh. Prior to becoming Pennsylvania’s First Lady, Mrs. Corbett served as a special projects manager for the President’s Office at Carnegie Museums and the Director’s Office of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; Assistant Producer and then Executive Director of Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures, a nationally-recognized literary arts organization; and most recently Vice-President for Programs and Development for the Gettysburg Foundation, a nonprofit partner of the National Park Service. “As First Lady, I am delighted to have the opportunity to offer my support to the PA Breast Cancer Coalition’s Annual Conference,” said Mrs. Corbett. “I commend Pat Halpin-Murphy and the entire staff for their tireless work on behalf of breast cancer survivors and their families, and I look forward to another great conference in October.” “We are grateful to the First Lady for lending her valuable commitment and support First Lady to our unique and meaningful statewide conference, and in turn to the PBCC and survivors throughout the state,” said Pat Halpin-Murphy, PBCC President & Founder. Susan Corbett More Annual Conference related info on page 4
PA BREAST CANCER COALITION
FRONTLINE President’s Corner TM
A quarterly publication of the PA Breast Cancer Coalition
800-377-8828 www.PABreastCancer.org Statewide Headquarters 344 North Reading Road Ephrata, PA 17522 Pat Halpin-Murphy President & Founder
Leslie Anne Miller, Esq. Executive Vice President
Heather Hibshman Executive Director
HONORARY BOARD Bernard Fisher, M.D. Michele M. Ridge Senator Harris Wofford
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Madlyn Abramson Rosemary Boland Sandra Christianson Sandy Cray Deborah Freer John Glick, M.D. Gary Gurian G. June Hoch Andrea Mastro, Ph.D. Denise Robison Alice Sanders Jeanne Schmedlen Mary Simmonds, M.D., F.A.C.P. Pat Stewart Leslie Stiles Ted Williams Norman Wolmark, M.D.
PBCC STAFF Carol Burkholder Kim Eubanks Tricia Grove Sarah Lightman Dolores Magro Jennifer Pensinger Kevin Smith Frontline is published as a quarterly communique for the information of the supporters and friends of the PA Breast Cancer Coalition. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or distributed without permission from the PA Breast Cancer Coalition. Amy Collins Law, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
How the PBCC’s Free Guide on Insurance - Breast Cancer: Covered or Not? - Saved a Survivor $10,000
e knew when we wrote Breast Cancer: Covered or Not? A Guide on Insurance it would help women with breast cancer navigate the insurance maze and become a better advocate for themselves and their care. But after a call from a survivor in Wayne County who received our guidebook, read the section on billing errors, took out her medical bills and found a $10,000 double billing mistake, we realized how big of an impact the guidebook could make. Our goal in writing Breast Cancer: Covered or Not? A Guide on Insurance was to put the power back in the hands of breast cancer survivors, their families, and their advocates. For some that means double checking hospital bills. For others, it means making sure they are holding their insurer accountable for what they are entitled to under their policy, or their employer accountable to the leave they are entitled to under the Family Medical Leave Act. This guide is available FREE of charge. It can be downloaded from our website, or if you’d prefer a hardcopy, you can complete the order form on our websiteto have one mailed. Please share it with anyone you know that could benefit from the information it contains.
Order this FREE guidebook today!
http://pbcc.me/Guidebook Call 800-377-8828 x100 with any questions.
Seminar Educates Lehigh Valley Hospitals on Free Treatment Available for Breast Cancer
f you did not know that FREE treatment is available to uninsured and underinsured women with breast cancer, then you are not alone. The PBCC is working to change that by educating healthcare providers throughout the state with seminars explaining the program’s benefits. Late last year, the PBCC•held a seminar at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, featuring knowledgeable speakers from the PA Department of Health, the PA Health Law Project, the PA Department of Public Welfare and the PBCC. Participating Lehigh Valley hospitals included Easton Regional Cancer Center, Geisinger Medical Center—Schuylkill County, Grandview
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Hospital, Lehigh Valley Hospital, Sacred Heart Hospital, and St. Luke’s Hospital. The seminar was made possible thanks to funding provided by Pfizer. The PBCC worked with state government in 2001 to extend Medicaid coverage to uninsured women in need of treatment, entitling women to immediate FREE treatment paid for through Medicaid as part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Program (BCCPT). If you have questions about the FREE treatment available, call 800-215-7494 or visit http://pbcc.me/FREE.
PA BREAST CANCER COALITION
Illuminating the lives of breast cancer survivors
Huntingdon County Diagnosis and Treatment
Billie represents Hun tingdon County in th Counties: Facing Br e 67 Women, 67 east Cancer in Penn sylvania photo exhi bit.
testing. No one else in my family had ever had breast cancer, but I had the test and learned that I was BRCA2 positive. I elected to have a right mastectomy, a sub-total hysterectomy and then reconstruction of both breasts using tummy fat (DIEP flap). I hope and pray it’s only me despite that gene. Let my story serve its purpose and spare everyone else who I care about. After surgery was complete, I contacted the Oprah show to thank them for saving my life. They invited me to appear on a follow-up program called “Health Mistakes Even Smart Women Make.” This show was about women who watched the earlier episode and did something about it -one who realized she was having a heart attack, another who quit smoking and me to talk about doing breast self-exams. I did the show hoping that someone would hear what I said and be saved, just like I had been. I wanted to raise awareness too that being young doesn’t mean you can’t get breast cancer.
On June 22, 2000, I was watching Oprah when a woman shared her story of having found a lump in her breast that was cancer. A few months earlier, Sharon Brosious* of the Cumberland Valley Breast Care Alliance presented a health education program at my workplace. I recalled how Sharon had demonstrated breast self-exam so while watching Oprah, I examined my breast. I knew the lump I felt was just like the lump in the model Sharon had passed around. That Oprah show might not have inspired me to check my breasts had I not seen Sharon’s presentation. At that time in my world, 27-year-old women didn’t get breast cancer. I went for a mammogram right away but because of my age my breasts were too dense to confirm a diagnosis. An ultrasound found the solid mass. I had the lump removed and learned that I had infiltrating ductal carcinoma. In August I had a left modified radical mastectomy, then four rounds of chemo which caused me to lose my long hair. That was tough. I was supposed to be Living Angels on tamoxifen for the next five years but after three The ongoing love and support of my parents, years and nine months I found out I was pregnant with my son. I stopped taking tamoxifen and I’m family and friends made the cancer experience as good happy to say that Brayden is now a healthy as it could possibly be. I don’t know how I would have made it this far without those angels in my life. rambunctious 5-year-old boy. If other women don’t have a strong support team, I want them to know there are survivors like me who Tough Choices are happy to be a cheerleader, or lend a listening ear. I considered having breast reconstruction but You will find more inspiration, strength and courage decided I wanted to have another baby and was with breast cancer survivors and within yourself than blessed with my daughter Bella who is now 2 years you could ever imagine. old. The OB/GYN encouraged me to get genetic
“If other women don’t have a strong support team, I want them to know that there are survivors like me who are happy to be a cheerleader or lend a listening ear.” - Billie Hammond
*Sharon Brosious was the recipient of the PBCC Shining Light Award at the 2005 PA Breast Cancer Coalition Annual Conference. The award is presented to an individual exhibiting outstanding community grassroots leadership in breast cancer research, education, outreach and advocacy.
The PBCC’s traveling photo exhibit - 67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania - will be visiting Huntingdon County later this year. For details on the dates of the exhibit, check the PBCC•website at http://pbcc.me/Exhibit. Funding for this project is provided by the PA Department of Health. FRONTLINE - SPRING 2011
PA BREAST CANCER COALITION
S AV E
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011 Annual Conference Why Sponsor? You can demonstrate your company’s commitment to a cure and your support for families currently affected by breast cancer while gaining access to conference events and benefitting from public and media recognition. Nearly one thousand attendees attend PA’s only statewide breast cancer conference. Wouldn’t it be great to have their attention?
Contact Dolores at 610-622-3390 or Dolores@PABreastCancer.org for more information.
Call for Presenters Are you a dynamic speaker? Do you have a great breast cancer-related topic that you would love to present to conference attendees from across PA? The PBCC is seeking workshops and presenters to be featured at our Annual Conference on Tuesday, October 11, 2011. We are currently looking for workshops to present in the following tracks: Leadership, Advocacy and Education w Advances in Treatment w Research and Clinical Trials w Breast Cancer Survivorship w The Mind/Body Connection w Caring for the Caregiver Workshops are an hour long and should be geared toward an audience of survivors, advocates and medical professionals. If you have a workshop that you think would be an appropriate fit for the 2011 conference please email Jennifer@PABreastCancer.org for more info on submitting a proposal. Space is limited so contact Jennifer today!
Drive home the message. Purchase a Pink Ribbon License Plate, support the PBCC and spread the message of breast cancer awareness wherever you go. Available ONLY through the PBCC for a one time fee of $34.
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PA BREAST CANCER COALITION
M E D I C A L A RT I C L E
Use of Avastin in the Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer by PRIYA RASTOGI, M.D. Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
vastin (bevacizumab) is a drug that blocks the growth of new blood vessels. It has been approved in combination with chemotherapy for treating many types of advanced cancers including certain types of colon, lung, kidney, and brain tumors. This drug was also found to be an active agent in the treatment of advanced breast cancer, and in 2008, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its use in combination with chemotherapy as a treatment for women with this disease. The initial approval was based on impressive results from a clinical trial carried out by the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG), E2100, which found that Avastin plus chemotherapy improved progression-free survival. The FDA wanted additional studies to be completed so that more information could be obtained and the E2100 results could be verified. Follow-up studies confirmed the drug’s activity, but its benefit was diminished. These clinical trials with Avastin plus chemotherapy showed that the combination improves response rates and slows disease progression but does not change overall survival in patients with metastatic breast cancer. When a recent review of the overall data from four clinical trials for metastatic breast cancer was conducted, the FDA decided on December 16, 2010 that it would begin the process of withdrawing approval of Avastin for breast cancer in the metastatic setting. The agency concluded that the benefit of adding this drug to chemotherapy in patients with advanced breast cancer did not outweigh the risks. Genentech/Roche has requested a formal public hearing with the FDA. Meanwhile, in Europe the European Medicines Agency, which has stated that Avastin should not be used with the chemotherapy docetaxel (Taxotere), allows its use with paclitaxel in patients with metastatic breast cancer.
Avastin remains a potential treatment option for patients with metastatic breast cancer during the FDA withdrawal review process. Trials examining its use with chemotherapy continue to be carried out in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings in an attempt to understand whether the combination can lead to long-term improvement. The National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP)’s B-40 trial is a neoadjuvant study evaluating chemotherapy with or without Avastin. NSABP B-46-I is an adjuvant trial evaluating Avastin in combination with non-anthracycline-based chemotherapy in the adjuvant setting. Two other large adjuvant trials include ECOG E5103 and BEATRICE. E5103 are comparing Avastin plus anthracycline-containing chemotherapy to anthracycline-containing chemotherapy alone. The BEATRICE study is evaluating Avastin added to several different chemotherapy regimens in triple-negative breast cancer. The NSABP’s BETH study, a large phase III adjuvant trial in women with HER2-positive breast cancer, is examining whether regimens of chemotherapy plus trastuzumab (Herceptin) and Avastin improve outcomes when compared to regimens of chemotherapy plus trastuzumab alone. Research efforts are underway to identify specific subgroups of patients with breast cancer that may be more likely to benefit from adding Avastin to chemotherapy. In addition, studies with Avastin plus chemotherapy are continuing in early-stage breast cancer and will address the important question of the role this drug may play in patients with this form of the disease.
Priya Rastogi, M.D.
“Avastin remains a potential treatment option for patients with metastatic breast cancer during the FDA withdrawl review process.” -- Priya Rastogi, M.D.
The author thanks Barbara C. Good, Ph.D., for editorial assistance with this article.
Check out page 7 for an update on the recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that may impact treatment options for those who are diagnosed early. FRONTLINE - SPRING 2011
PA BREAST CANCER COALITION
Grassroots Partners B
reast cancer hit the family of Central Dauphin High School senior Artie Rowell hard when his beloved grandmother, Patricia Dively, passed away after a long battle with the disease in 2009. But Artie was inspired to hit back in a big way through his senior project, Help Tackle Breast Cancer. A high school football standout, Artie decided to collect pledges from friends and family for each tackle and sack he made in his senior year and donate the money raised to the PBCC. By the end of the season, he had collected $9,375.84. He plans to continue playing football at the University of Pittsburgh this fall. Many thanks to Artie for taking on breast cancer on the football field so the PBCC can take it on off the field.
Help Tackle Breast Cancer
race Small held a financial seminar through her work, MassMutual Financial Group, and was able to make a donation to a charity of her choice. She chose the PBCC, and presented a check for $935 to the organization. Our appreciation goes out to Grace for thinking of us and choosing the PBCC to receive such a generous donation!
ach October, Charleroi hosts the Lois Orange Ducoeur Breast Cancer Walk to raise funds for the area’s local cancer center and awareness initiatives. This year, the event raised $9,000. Team Charleroi Business and Community Alliance, operating in conjunction with the Mon Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce presented a gift of $4,450 to the PBCC. Thanks Team Charleroi!
est York Wrestling helped take breast cancer to the mat with their fundraising efforts to benefit the PBCC and a local survivor in financial need. They held a silent auction and collected donations to raise $1,000 for the PBCC and $500 for the local survivor. Our thanks to Coach Brian Grossy and all the wrestlers for their support!
Adalynn Harbaugh organized Run for a Cure as a senior project. Not only did her project provide people with an opportunity to exercise on a nice fall day, it also provided the PBCC•with $845 to help further the mission of representing, supporting and serving breast cancer survivors and their families. Thanks Adalynn!
Wolf Furniture of Lancaster held a bake sale and collected donations as part of their “Pink Out” activities, raising $200 for the PBCC. A big thank you to the Lancaster store’s General Manager, Linda Burke.
River Rock Academy raised $350 by collecting donations throughout the fall to benefit the PBCC. Special thanks to teacher Karl Munscher for organizing the effort for the second year. River Rock Academy certainly rocks!
Plant the seed in your community and watch it grow statewide - become a Grassroots Partner. To find out how, call Sarah at 800-377-8828 x107 or email sarah@PaBreastCancer.org 6
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PA BREAST CANCER COALITION
Martin’s Chips in for a Cure With Largest One-Time Corporate Donation in PBCC History
ho knew Chipping in for a Cure could feel - and taste - so good? Martin’s Potato Chips, Inc. contributed 25 cents from the sale of 220,000 of their specially packaged 9-ounce bags of “Kettle-Cook’d” chips in October, making a $55,000 donation. This donation marks the largest single corporate donation to the PBCC in its history. “Martin’s Potato Chips continues to amaze us. Their recent contributions will literally save and change lives. The entire Martin’s team is so generous, and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts. They are a true partner in this mission,” said Heather Hibsman, PBCC Executive Director. This most recent campaign marks the third time Martin’s has packaged their most popular product in pink to benefit the PBCC. To date, Martin’s has donated nearly $85,000 to help support breast cancer awareness in Pennsylvania through its support of the PBCC. "The entire Martin's team is extremely proud to support the PA Breast Cancer Coalition in their quest to promote awareness and find a cure for one of the most prevalent health issues that women face today," said Butch Potter, President & CEO of Martin's Potato Chips, Inc.
Study Shows Promise in Treatment Without Lymph Node Removal
recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that surgery to remove lymph nodes other than the sentinel node from breast cancer patients whose cancer is diagnosed early may be unnecessary. Researchers found that radiation and anti-cancer drugs may be just as effective. The study involved 900 women with early breast cancers who underwent lumpectomies and radiation. Most of the women also received drug therapy. Findings indicated that it is not necessary to take out additional lymph nodes even if cancer is found in the sentinel nodes. Often times as a precaution, doctors remove lymph nodes under the patient’s arm in an effort to prevent cancer’s spread throughout the body’s lymph system, even if the initial tumor is small. Recently, doctors have elected to remove only one or two crucial lymph nodes, called sentinel nodes, to help reduce the risk of lymphedema in patients undergoing surgery. About 92% of the study participants were alive after a fiveyear period, regardless of whether the lymph nodes were removed. Despite these promising findings, the study has limitations. The follow- up period was short, at only six years, and current studies have documented recurrences at 10 to 15 years. The majority of women who participated were in their 50s, and those who had had mastectomies weren’t included. Also, women in the study had small tumors with which only one or two lymph nodes were involved, which may invalidate findings for those with three or four affected lymph nodes or for those whose tumors are larger. In addition, these findings do not apply to patients who have undergone neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The study was conducted at 115 locations around the USA and funded by the National Cancer Institute.
Butch Potter, President &•CEO of Martin’s Potato Chips, Inc. presents Heather Hibshman, PBCC Executive Director, with the donation.
PBCC Friend and Author Wants Your Stories for New Book Tammy Miller, PBCC volunteer extraordinaire, international speaker and author is looking for your stories, thoughts, poems and quotes for a new book! Pink Ribbon Stories: A Celebration of Life is filled with your words to encourage, inspire and make you smile. Stories may come from anyone whose life has been touched by breast cancer. All proceeds from the book benefit the PBCC. Email Tammy at email@example.com with your submission. Submissions should be under 1,200 words. If you need assistance with the typing of your story, please let Tammy know and she may be able to assist you to get your thoughts in the book.
Coming to Your Community 4/9
Taking Care of Me Fashion Show and Luncheon 4 Points Sheraton, Harrisburg, Dauphin County
3K Walk for Breast Cancer Linden Hall School, Lititz, Lancaster County
Paint the Rink Pink: We’re Here for the Hansons Twin Ponds East, Harrisburg, Dauphin County
Take A Swing Against Breast Cancer Home Run Derby Stadiums Across Pennsylvania
Horizon of Hope Breakfast Adamstown, Lancaster County
PA Breast Cancer Coalition Annual Conference Harrisburg Hilton, Dauphin County
For more information, visit www.PABreastCancer.org/Events
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344 North Reading Road Ephrata, PA 17522 Address Service Requested
Because Molly deserves a world without breast cancer.
Spring Training Has Begun! You Can Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer
STEP up to the plate
R E S E A RC H
Your state tax refund today can ensure her tomorrows.
BE a sponsor SIGN up to volunteer ROOT from the stands w w w. PA H o m e R u n D e r b y. o r g
Coming to a Stadium Near You JU LY 2 01 1
This tax season YOU can help find a cure for breast cancer! Look for the PA Breast Cancer Coalition’s Refunds for Research line (line 35) on your state income tax form and donate your refund to breast cancer research. Help find a cure for breast cancer now... so our daughters won’t have to.©