Tag: breast cancer

Video: Bust a Move Co-Chair, Ann Johnson

This video is part of a 6 part series on our YouTube channel promoting this year’s Bust a Move event that brings breast cancer survivors, artists, and cancer community members together to celebrate their triumph and remember the struggles they’ve experienced.

Ann Johnson has served as Bust A Move chair for 3 years. Hear what she has to say about the project. Remember, Bust A Move is Friday, October 5, from 6:00 – 10:00 PM at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. For more information or to purchase tickets please visit http://bustamove5.eventbrite.com/

5th Annual Bust a Move

We are partnering with The Fort Wayne Derby Girls to host the 5th Annual Bust a Move auction and fundraiser to benefit women with breast cancer in our community on Friday, October 5, 2012, at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art from 6:00 – 9:00 PM.

For Bust a Move, local artists, breast cancer survivors, and derby girls volunteer their talents and their bodies to create unique, inspiring cast representations of the female bust and the emotions associated with breast cancer. Local artists modified the casts, using various artistic mediums, to create outstanding works of art. The art pieces will be auctioned at the event.

Join us for the 5th Annual Bust a Move. The event includes food, cocktails, entertainment, and a live auction of truly unique and inspiring works of art – all fashioned from the busts of breast cancer survivors and Derby Girls.

Tickets are available online at eventbrite.com.

View artwork from last year’s event at the gallery from Bust a Move 2011.

Article: Ultrasound-Guided Breast-Conserving Surgery May Reduce Need for Further Surgeries

A new study shows using ultrasound to guide the surgical removal of tumors from women with palpable breast cancer is significantly better than the standard approach in ensuring that all cancerous tissue is removed while minimizing the removal of healthy tissue.

Dr. Krekel and her colleagues randomly assigned 124 patients with palpable early-stage breast cancer to either ultrasound-guided surgery or palpation-guided surgery. They found that only 3.3 percent of the margins in the ultrasound-guided surgery group contained cancer cells, compared with 16.4 percent in the palpation-guided surgery group. They also found that less healthy tissue was removed in the ultrasound-guided surgery group.

“If we get the same results in the United States, and these results can be incorporated into community practice, it will spare many women unnecessary re-excision surgery,” said Dr. Jo Anne Zujewski, head of Breast Cancer Therapeutics in NCI’s Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis.

Read full article here.

Article: Drawbacks of Adding MRI to Mammography Plus Ultrasound May Outweigh Benefits

Adding ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to annual screening mammograms for women with an increased risk of breast cancer and dense breast tissue detects more new breast cancers than mammography alone but also results in more false-positive findings, according to results of a multicenter clinical trial.

Researchers found that adding ultrasound to mammography increased breast cancer detection by an average of 3.7 cases per 1,000 women screened after the second and third rounds of annual screening. The majority of cancers detected only by ultrasound were node-negative invasive cancers. Until now, it had been unclear whether continuing annual ultrasound screening would detect more cancers.

Although MRI was better at detecting cancer than mammography plus ultrasound, women found it less tolerable. “Despite its higher sensitivity, the addition of screening MRI rather than ultrasound to mammography in broader populations of women at intermediate risk with dense breasts may not be appropriate, particularly when the current high false-positive rates, cost, and reduced tolerability of MRI are considered,” the authors concluded.

Read the full article here.

Article: Breast Cancer and Obesity

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute study finds overweight and obese women at greater risk of breast cancer recurrence

Women who are overweight or obese when they are diagnosed with breast cancer are at higher risk of cancer recurrence or related death than are leaner women, according to a new study.

“Several other studies have shown that being overweight or obese at the time that a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer is linked to a higher risk of recurrence. However, questions have been raised in the past whether obese women were receiving relatively lower doses of chemotherapy due to their weight. Our study mandated that each patient received a chemotherapy dose adjusted to her weight, so these results suggest that treatment factors are not responsible for the differences in recurrence rates seen in heavier women,” Dr. Ligibel said.

Although the link between obesity and the development of breast cancer is well known, there has been less research to date looking at its effect on cancer recurrence and survival.

Read full article here.

A young mother’s breast cancer story

Chelsa with her family at Lapper 2010

by Amber Recker

In 2010, when she was just 34 years old, Chelsa Demarchis heard four words she thought she’d never hear: You have breast cancer. At the time, her two boys were still babies, 2 years and 4 months old.

“I was nursing my youngest and we started having a difficult time,” Chelsa says. “I thought it was a blocked duct; so did my doctor at first.”

Chelsa had an ultrasound right away and then the whirlwind began. The doctor asked her to come back for a mammogram after the ultrasound and that’s when they discovered she had stage 3 breast cancer. She was having a hard time breast feeding because the tumor was a massive 6 centimeters. She started chemotherapy immediately and in early 2011, she had a mastectomy, followed by radiation treatment.

“I was completely blind-sided,” explains Chelsa. “Never in a million years did I expect this to happen to me and my family.”

Chelsa’s husband Dan took the news especially hard. He experienced an array of emotions, but mostly anger. “It took a lot of convincing on my part and from our family and friends before Dan believed I would be okay. He was so angry this would happen to me at such a young age with such young children,” Chelsa says.

Once the initial shock wore off, Chelsa, Dan and their family faced cancer head on. Dan’s parents moved to Fort Wayne to help with the children while Chelsa underwent treatment, and her mother and 3 sisters from Michigan took turns coming down to help, as well.

“We were shown incredible support from our family and friends,” Chelsa says. “My husband is a teacher at Canterbury, and that community was amazing. People prepared meals and brought them to us every night. They even showed up to watch the boys so we could enjoy some down time.”

Chelsa and Dan were open with their oldest son during the process and tried to explain it to him so he would understand. They told him cancer was like alien bugs attacking mommy’s body and the medicine she took attacked the bugs back. They also told him the medicine made her hair fall out.

“It was a big deal to me when I started losing my hair. I had thick, long curly hair. The night Dan helped me shave my head, our son walked in. I asked him if I looked pretty and he said ‘not today mommy,’” Chelsa relays, laughing at the memory. “It was an emotional moment, and he put a smile back on our faces.”

Last year, Chelsa organized a team of her family and friends to participate in Lapper. “It relieved a lot of stress knowing that Cancer Services was there for me during my cancer journey. When I needed questions answered, I simply had to call my Client Advocate. Just knowing that was enough sometimes,” she explains. “So participating in Lapper was a great way to help support the organization and also do something with my family and friends to acknowledge what we all went through with my diagnosis. I love the community feel of the event and can’t wait to participate in Lapper 2012.”

Today, Chelsa has reached the 6 month post-treatment mark and things look good. “You know, my son saved my life,” she says. “If we hadn’t found the tumor when we did, it may have been too late.”

If you’d like to join Chelsa and others at Lapper 2012, register today!

Client Story: Unexpected Blessings… Kara McKinney & family

Kara McKinney with her husband Brad and their children

April 1, 2009, is the day life changed for Kara McKinney and her family. She received the news all women dread: “You have breast cancer.”

“I don’t remember much after hearing those words,” Kara says. “All I could think about was my children- three and one at the time. I was afraid they would never know their mother.”

Kara knew she had to fight. “I strapped on my seatbelt and started on this wild roller coaster ride. I cycled through all of the emotions…denial, fear, anger, sadness and finally acceptance,” she says. “And then, I found the biggest change in my journey. I gave it over to God and my inner soul started breathing again.”

Kara had a lumpectomy and fortunately, the cancer had not spread; however, she had to undergo chemotherapy. “I lost all of my hair and had side effects that I can’t even mention,” she explains. “It was hard.”

But Kara also had good days. She was able to bake a cake for both of her children’s birthdays during her treatment. And because of her husband’s strength and resolve to carry his family through this difficult time, Kara and her children were given a refuge in the backyard during her treatment, which he transformed for them into a playground.

“I am so grateful for Brad. I cannot begin to tell you how much he means to me,” Kara says. “He is my soul mate, through sickness and health.”

Kara is also grateful for the help she and her family received from Cancer Services. “My Client Advocate, Maureen, is an angel sent from God,” she says. “Not only did she provide emotional support and two wigs, she also helped me secure insurance for me and my children through Medicaid. She was relentless in her pursuit to open doors for me.”

Shortly after Kara was diagnosed with cancer, her husband’s company changed their policy and discontinued insurance coverage for dependents. “There’s no way we would have been able to pay for my treatment and regular doctor’s visits for my children,” she explains. “Maureen saved our lives.”

Today, Kara is done with the surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy and is starting to feel normal again. “I still have struggles,” she admits. “Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and wonder ‘who is that woman?’ I often joke with my husband that he has a new wife. But in all seriousness, cancer has changed me, mentally and physically, and that takes some getting used to.”

With each day Kara gets stronger. “Cancer provides unexpected blessings,” she says. “I have a new appreciation for faith, family and life. I am blessed.”



Casting for Recovery and Cancer Services informational session Tuesday, February 21

Casting for Recovery and Cancer Services will present information regarding their programs at the Conquering Breast Cancer support group on Tuesday, February 21, starting at 6:30 pm. The group meets at Parkview Comprehensive Cancer Center, 11141 Parkview Plaza Drive, Entrance #4.

Casting for Recovery is a non-profit support and educational program for breast cancer survivors. Women of all ages are invited to attend the fly-fishing, outdoor retreats at no cost. The organization provides counseling and medical education and incorporates fly-fishing to promote physical and emotional healing. Retreats are two-and-a-half day events and take place May 18-20 and September 28-30. For more information, visit www.castingforrecovery.org.

Following the Casting for Recovery presentation at 7:00pm, Gail Hamm, program director for Cancer Services, will present “Cancer Services-Programs You Won’t Want to Miss!”


Big Thanks to Guardian in Ligonier for Their Pink-Out Fundraiser

Corrie Henschon from Guardian Industries, in Ligonier, organized a company ‘Pink-Out’ to help spread breast cancer awareness as well as raise funds for Cancer Services. We would like to send our thanks to Corrie Henschon and Dawn Alcala, along with all Guardian employees who helped make this donation possible.

Corrie and Dawn visited our offices for a tour and to present a check of $430 to Linda Bewley, Outreach Coordinator.

Corrie chose our organization as the recipient for their fundraising efforts when she personally experienced the difference Cancer Services made in her friend’s life after being diagnosed with cancer.

Bishop Luers Fall Athletics Participate in 4th Annual Pink Week

Completing yet another year,the 4th Annual Pink Week at Bishop Luers has again participated in collecting donations for Cancer Services. Luers’ Fall sport athletes, coaches, students and fans all took pride in raising breast cancer awareness at multiple home games this season by trading in their black and red and sporting pink body paint, socks and hats.