Frontline Spring 2022

Page 1



2022, Volume 1

PBCC, Sen. Majority Leader Kim Ward, Fox Chase Cancer Center Host FREE Mammogram Event Don’t miss


o your mamm


n partnership with Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward and Fox Chase Cancer Center, a part of Temple University Health System, the PA Breast Cancer Coalition held a FREE mammogram event on April 1 in North Philadelphia. The event offered screening mammograms to women in the Fox Chase Cancer Center Mobile Screening Unit at no cost. Every woman screened received a $25 Walmart gift card courtesy of the PBCC.

38 will be diagnosed with breast cancer in PA



5-year survival rate when detected early

“We are joining forces with healthcare providers across the Commonwealth to build awareness and provide opportunities for women to get their mammograms for free,” said Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward. Senator Ward was late on her mammogram at the beginning of the pandemic. She rescheduled her screening and was diagnosed with breast cancer at an early stage. The PBCC is proud to partner with Leader Ward on this initiative to Get Screened PA! From left to right: PA Sen. Tina Tartaglione (D-2), Temple Health CEO Michael Young, Fox Chase Cancer Center Director Dr. Jonathan Chernoff, PBCC President Pat Halpin-Murphy, Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-39)

Remind your friends to #GetScreenedPA!


s-all. 3D mammograms reast cancer screenings are not one-type-fit en that some women are the gold standard, but studies have prov c resonance imaging) need more - they need a breast MRI (magneti on inside their bodies. or an ultrasound to show what’s really going high-risk for breast cancer like We know... because they tell us. Women at a from Allentown, Mary from Kathleen from Erie, Melissa from Lebanon, Laur al MRIs because they’re at high-risk Lancaster and Leslie from Philly need annu emails ening stories with us through social media, for breast cancer. Women shared their scre MRIs found their breast cancers. and phone calls with one common theme: T ds, insurers to cover breast MRIs and ultrasoun For the first time, Act 52 of 2020 required that nce sura co-in and s like co-pays, deductibles but there are STILL large out-of-pocket cost le gs that they need. In fact, the average deductib prevent women from getting these screenin for a Pennsylvania family is $3,177.* eliminate out-of-pocket legislation that would T Senator Bob Mensch has just introduced new ry en with high-risk factors like a personal histo costs for breast MRIs and ultrasounds for wom us help se Plea e. tissu st isposition or dense brea of breast cancer, family history, genetic pred make it law. C how YOU can be a part of it, follow the PBC For the latest updates on this legislation and ). m (@pabreastcancer) and Twitter (@PBCC on Facebook (@PABreastCancer), Instagra how to contact your senators. That’s where you’ll find real-time updates and


Take action. Save lives.

MRIs are proven to detect breast cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage for women at high-risk for breast cancer. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association comparing MRIs to 3D mammograms in women with dense breast tissue, the MRIs detected more than two times the number of cancers than the 3D mammogram screenings. The American College of Radiology recommends MRI for women with high-risk conditions like:

Dense breast tissue Personal history of breast cancer Family history of breast cancer Genetic predisposition


CUMBERLAND COUNTY Take us back to the time of your breast cancer diagnosis. MELISSA: I had been feeling a sharp pain in my breast, and my gynecologist recommended a mammogram. That came back negative. He then suggested that breast pain was normal and not to worry. Wow! About a month later, I could feel a lump getting larger almost daily, and the pain persisted. I met with a physician assistant who ordered a biopsy. The results came back negative. However, the breast pain persisted, and the lump was growing. I met with a breast surgeon who said she could do a lumpectomy in hopes of relieving the pain. The surgery was successful, and I felt immediate relief. Three days later, the surgeon called me and broke the news - Stage II triple-negative breast cancer. I felt numb – almost like it wasn’t real. My family was and is my rock. My husband, my three boys, my daughter-in-law – if they were worried for me, they sure did a good job of not showing me. My youngest was a senior in high school, and my middle son was playing his last season of college football. Having to miss so much of those important moments for them was hard for me.

How did you serve as your own advocate during your diagnosis and treatment? MELISSA: I read everything the doctor gave me and asked a lot of questions. My husband was very involved and was always by my side. I tried to not compare my experience to other breast cancer patients and survivors because not everyone has Stage II triple-negative cancer; and today’s treatments may not be the same as in the past. I did a lot of pre-planning and made sure my family and workplace knew what was going to happen and when. Do not be afraid to see the doctor, and if they aren’t taking you seriously, then find another one! What has breast cancer taught you? MELISSA: Anybody, and I mean anybody is a candidate for breast cancer. Being fit, having a great nutrition regimen and knowing my own body allowed me to recognize that something wasn’t right. If I would have had other chronic pain or illness, I may have ignored the pain in my breast, and the cancer could have reached stage III very quickly. As I learned through talking with other breast cancer patients and survivors, each person’s diagnosis and treatment are unique to them. You’re a team captain supporting the PBCC in the 2022 Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community! Why do you feel so passionate about giving back? MELISSA: Once treatments are over and you’re given the “all clear,” the journey doesn’t end. Chemo wrecks your body, and it takes a dedicated plan and effort to be close to normal again. I’m hopeful that, in some small way, my support of this cause will remind patients and survivors that, as an individual, you will always need to be working toward bettering your health. Join Melissa’s team, Today’s Warriors, Saturday, May 21 in the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community on the HACC Harrisburg Campus. Learn more >>




P Dancing the night away since 2007! The annual Dance for Life event in Pittsburgh was founded by Diane McCarthy following her breast cancer diagnosis and now lives on in her memory. Dance for Life has contributed over $100,000 to the PBCC including $15,000 in 2021, even hosting a virtual event during the pandemic. Thank you for your dedication, dancers and donors! Organized by breast cancer survivor and PBCC County Captain Chair Honi Gruenberg

3 Every October, Kitchen Kettle Village goes pink in support of PA women facing breast cancer and breast cancer researchers. The 2021 Pink Party raised $5,700! Thank you, store owners and shoppers!





2. Pink Light Walk - $150 3. Kitchen Kettle Village Pink Party - $5,700 4. Wallenpaupack High School - $1,100 5. Lower Dauphin Football - $2,200 6. SUN Area Technical Institute - $1,083



PBCC Board Member Emerita Janet Potter shares in conversation with PA Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill and Martin’s Chips President Butch Potter

Martin’s Potato Chips, based in York County, supports the PBCC’s efforts each year by selling custom pink bags of chips and popcorn during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Martin’s Chips in for a Cure campaign has contributed over $267,000 to the PBCC!



7. Martin’s Potato Chips - $10,028 8. Methacton High School Lady Warriors Basketball - $988 9. East Cocalico Lions Club Toll Road Fundraiser - $1,300 10. Drive Out Breast Cancer - $42,348



Thank you to the dealerships that participated in this year’s Drive Out Breast Cancer initiative! Together, you raised an incredible $42,348 for survivors and researchers across PA!

UPCOMING EVENTS Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community Saturday, May 21 HACC Harrisburg Campus Harrisburg, PA

Toasting a Cure at the Vineyard Saturday, June 11 Bucks Valley Winery and Vineyard Newport, PA



Beyond BRCA: The Latest in Genetic Testing for Hereditary Breast Cancer Maria Baker, PhD, FACMG, CGC

Director, Cancer Genetics Program Penn State Health


enetic testing and counseling for hereditary breast cancer has undergone numerous changes since BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing became clinically available in 1996. Although these two genes account for the majority of hereditary breast cancer, we no longer explore just these two genes alone when evaluating a personal and/or family history of breast cancer. Rather, we offer testing for a number of breast cancer susceptibility genes as part of a breast-focused testing panel or possibly a broader panel, including additional genes, to explore other cancers that may exist within the family.

decisions, such as whether a woman with a new diagnosis of breast cancer should consider a bilateral mastectomy if, for example, her diagnosis is due to an underlying mistake or mutation (also called a likely pathogenic or pathogenic variant) or whether she could pursue breast-conserving surgery, such as a lumpectomy or partial mastectomy.

The technology that is used to sequence or proofread the genes has changed as well. Most genetics labs now use a technology called next generation sequencing (NGS) which has decreased the turnaround time of the testing, as well as the cost involved, now enabling upwards of 80 to 90 or more genes to be evaluated within 2 to 4 weeks. The goal is to use genetic information to help make more informed medical

Whereas only one genetics lab could initially provide BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing on a clinical basis, now multiple CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited labs can provide the testing due to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the patent protection on June 13, 2013. Many of the genetics labs have Patient Assistance Programs for those who may not have coverage for the testing or who have a large out-of-


pocket due to an unmet deductible. Some of the genetics labs will also allow you to reflex to testing of additional genes for up to 90 days from the date of your first report, in case, for example, you learn about some additional family history of cancer that you were not aware of or possibly you just changed your mind and would like more information than initially elected. Some genetics labs offer free cascade testing to relatives for up to 3-5 months after a mutation has been identified within the family. Each genetics lab has its own specific policies. If you have questions, a board certified, licensed genetic counselor can discuss your options. A genetic counselor can educate you about the benefits, risks, and limitations of genetic testing so that you can make an informed decision.

Thursday, April 21 @ 11:00am (session held virtually)

1 FREE CE for Nurses!


OUR 2022

RESEARCHERS Each researcher receives a $50,000 PBCC Research Grant Xiaosong Wang, MD, PhD UPMC Hillman Cancer Center TOPIC Gene fusions in the treatment of metastatic and endocrine resistant breast cancer

Anne Marie McCarthy, PhD University of Pennsylvania

Jonathan Chernoff, MD, PhD Fox Chase Cancer Center

TOPIC Racial disparities in breast cancer risk and breast density

TOPIC Identifying new genes for targeted breast cancer therapy




he PA Breast Cancer Coalition’s photo exhibit, 67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in PA is coming to a community near you! Bradford County Historical Society will host the exhibit May 5-12. Join us for an opening reception at the Historical Society (our first in-person reception in two years!) May 5 from 6:00 - 8:00p.m. To RSVP for the reception, visit

“Bringing awareness about early diagnosis and regular screenings is very important to our families and communities.”

- PA Rep. Tina Pickett, Bradford County

The exhibit, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, shares the importance of mammograms and early detection across the state. “67 Women, 67 Counties” next travels to Montgomery County in June. View our online exhibit visit

Host the exhibit in your community! visit

2397 Quentin Road, Suite B, Lebanon, PA 17042 800-377-8828


Virtual Conference

A FREE Metastatic Breast Cancer Care Package Program metastatic breast cancer resources, small gifts, safe cosmetics and more! PA B 239 reast C 7 Leb Quen ancer C ti ano n, P n Roa oalitio d n A 17 042 , Ste B












Request one FREE for yourself or a loved one