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AACR Scientist<->Survivor Program Review by Ashley

AACR Scientist<->Survivor Program Review by Ashley

The American Association for Cancer Research had it’s annual meeting in New Orleans this year the second week of April. I was lucky to be part of the Scientist<->Survivor Program. For the SS Program, we were paired with a group of other advocates, a mentor and a scientist or doctor. I really enjoyed my group and learned so many things about the work of cancer research, some of which was over my head! We had a mini-med school session where we learned about the basic science behind what causes cancer to develop in our bodies, cells mutating and our immune system not being able to fight off the bad cells (in a nutshell). There were all sorts of educational sessions on pretty much every topic in the world of cancer and cancer research; poster sessions on all the latest information, advancements and clinical trials; vendor booths from different pharmaceutical companies, laboratories, new technology, genomics, research agencies; and an advocate’s section where we could all go and see who was there from different non-profits and advocacy groups and more! To say there were not enough hours in the day to attend all the sessions and see all that the conference had to offer is an understatement. While I was there, I went to a few poster sessions on breast cancer and the latest research and advocacy groups. The poster that I found the most fascinating and promising was “Predicting response to treatment in early breast cancer using dynamic integrative multi-omic profiling” by a group of doctors from University of Cambridge, Cancer Research UK/Cambridge Institute and Royal College of Physicians. It was about predicting the response to treatment using pre-therapy static biomarkers and on-therapy dynamic biomarkers for women with triple negative breast cancer. They found links to the women’s immune system and tumor markers (biomarkers) to predict if she would have a PCR (pathological complete response) or RCB-I (residual cancer burden, minimal), RCB-II (moderate burden) or RCB-III (extensive burden). If they found that the women would not a good response to treatment, RCB-III, then the patient and doctor could talk about alternative treatments, clinical trials and other options. I found this absolutely fascinating! Who wouldn’t want to know, before treatment, what their likely outcome would be to chemotherapy?! I can’t wait to go back and learn more! Side note, the food in New Orleans is amazing!

SETTING THE STANDARD IN EXCELLENCE with Breast Reconstruction outcomes

SETTING THE STANDARD IN EXCELLENCE with Breast Reconstruction outcomes

Revision and Refinement of Breast Reconstruction At the Arizona Center for Reconstructive Breast Surgery, our mission has always been to set the standard for breast reconstruction outcomes and overall patient experience. One of our founding principles is a commitment to education - continued education for our providing surgeons, but also a passion for education of the community and clients that we serve. Not a day goes by that we are not educating fellow physicians, patients, insurance companies, or the community at large about the latest trends, advancements, and complexities of our challenging but exciting specialty. Along those lines we find it important to emphasize to patients, physicians, and providers alike that breast reconstruction “always” requires multiples stages and often several surgeries over a patient’s lifetime to achieve and maintain a symmetric and acceptable reconstruction. Revision, or as we like to call it "refinement" breast surgery is one of the most common types of breast reconstruction we perform. This is not surprising considering the number of patients that have had breast reconstruction that will require correction of the initial results or simple refinement or improvement of the reconstruction due to normal changes that occur with age, as well as cancer treatment related deformities such as radiation, fat necrosis and atrophy, and implant shifting and malposition. Refinement and revision reconstructive breast surgery continue to be a focus of our team at the Arizona Center for Reconstructive Breast Surgery.

Alcohol and Cancer Risk

Alcohol and Cancer Risk

Alcohol is one of the most preventable risk factors for breast cancer and 6 other cancers. According to the National Toxicology Program of the US Department of Health and Human Services alcohol is a known human carcinogen! This includes all types of alcohol – wine, spirits and beer. Approximately, 15% of breast cancer deaths among women in the United States were attributable to alcohol consumption. Education on the association between regular alcohol use and increased risk of cancer is an important and underemphasized cancer prevention strategy. Alcohol use and cancer risk is dose dependent. The more you drink the higher your risk of many cancers. Limit your alcohol consumption to 3 or less glasses a week. Komen Studies and Breast Cancer Prevention Partners studies reported Each drink consumed per day increases your relative risk by 7%. Binge drinking 25% increase Black out drinking 39% increase Alcohol impacts your cancer risk many ways: • Metabolizes and becomes carcinogenic • Damages DNA in cells • Increases hormone levels • Increases risk of hormone-recepter positive breast cancer • May affect breast density • Increases calorie intact and BMI • Decreases Folic Acid – helps make healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen ALCOHOL INCREASES YOUR RISK OF CANCER AND OTHER DISEASE Choose a 'mocktail instead of a cocktail' and skip the increased risk of breast cancer. Virgin Sangria Ingredients 3 c. pomegranite juice ½ cup orange juice 1 (12-oz.) can seltzer 1 orange, sliced 1 apple, cored and sliced 1/3 c. blackberries or raspberries Ice Instructions In a large pitcher, combine pomegranate juice, orange juice, and seltzer. Add fruit and stir to combine. Pour over ice to serve. Virgin Cucumber Gimlet Ingredients 1.5 oz club soda
4-5 slices of muddled cucumber
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz simple syrup Instructions Combine all ingredients and shake with ice. Serve in a rocks glass over crushed ice. Garnish with a rolled cucumber slice. Rosemary Burberry Smash Ingredients 7-8 blueberries
1 rosemary sprig, stripped
1 oz honey syrup
1 oz fresh lemon juice, strained
4 oz sparkling mineral water
Ice Instructions Gently muddle blueberries, rosemary leaves, and honey syrup in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add lemon juice and shake, covered, with ice vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain through a mesh strainer into a tall glass of fresh ice. Top with sparkling water and stir to incorporate. Paths to Prevention in Breast Cancer California Cohort study fiyb.

WISDOM Study Women Informed to Screen Depending on Measures of Risk.

WISDOM Study Women Informed to Screen Depending on Measures of Risk.

The future of health is in precision medicine. Precision medicine looks at the genetics, environment, and lifestyle of a person in order to prevent, diagnosis and treat disease. Women’s breast cancer screenings are deserving of precision medicine. Dr. Laura Esserman has created the WISDOM Study to do just that! Laura Esserman, M.D., M.B.A is a surgeon and breast cancer oncology specialist practicing at the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center. The WISDOM Study - Women Informed to Screen Depending On Measures of risk will help improve screening guidelines to a more personalized approach.To quote Dr. Esserman, "I've always had the vision of the right treatment, at the right time, for the right person. Not every woman has the same breast." Our current screening guidelines are all over the board with some institutions recommending annual exams beginning at 40, others at 50 biannually and many guidelines in between. YOU can help improve screening guidelines by joining the WISDOM Study. It is simple, free to join and just a few minutes of your time once a year. The study is open to women 40-74 in the United States. Women participate online by filling out an annual survey. You can choose to be in the randomized or self-select for annual screening or personalized screening. You receive personalized risk assessment and risk reduction strategies for free! Send in your annual screening results. That’s it! You can be a part of making medical history and help women for generations to come! Join the WISDOM Study today at www.thewisdomstudy.org

We are grateful to the Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation for the opportunity to learn from visionary leaders, like Dr. Esserman at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

Grail Galleri Test

Grail Galleri Test

We learned about the exciting new Grail Galleri Test at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium today! It is a Multi Cancer Early Detection Test (MCED). The earlier cancer is found the higher chances for successful treatment and survival. Today there are only screenings for six types of cancer; breast, cervical, lung, colorectal, prostate, and skin cancer. The MCED is not meant to replace screenings that we currently use. It will compliment existing screenings and help navigate what follow-up tests are needed, origins of cancer and recommended treatment. The majority of cancers are asymptomatic until later stages, when chances of survival decrease. In fact, cancers not commonly screened for cause 71% of all cancer deaths. For these cancers that have no existing screening tools, the MCED will detect almost any type of cancer and predict where the cancer cell is coming from. It can determine 21 places of origin in the body – the breast, thyroid, lung, etc. It can detect cancer at earlier stages. This will allow for more precise treatment and earlier intervention. Cancer cells have DNA mutations. The DNA that come from cancer cells and tumors are circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). These mutations are shed into the blood stream. The MCED blood test detects these ctDNA in a blood sample that requires just two tubes of blood. The more aggressive a cancer is, the more ctDNA it will shed into the bloodstream, thus not detecting indolent cancers and avoiding over diagnosis and overtreatment. Using MCED to detect breast cancer the studies are showing a very low false positive rate of less than 1% of only .5%. Currently mammography has a false positive rate of 7-10% depending on age. In addition, for screening for breast cancer, you could find you have another type of aggressive cancer that was asymptomatic. GRAIL has partnered with 152 institutions including Mayo, Cleveland Clinic and more to study the efficacy of MCED. GRAIL has in place the STRIVE Study, a prospective, observation, longitudinal, cohort study with approximately 100,000 women to validate MCED for early detection of multiple cancers. The participants will be observed for five years to capture data. It is a hopeful tool to be recommended as a routine annual screening for people fifty and over or those who carry hereditary or high risk factor(s) for cancers. Currently the test is $949.49, however they are working on getting approval for insurance carriers to cover the test. A bill has been introduced to Congress to have the test covered by Medicare - H.R. 1946 – 117th Congress- Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act of 2021. It received FDA medical breakthrough to expedite the process and receive FDA approval. GRAIL Galleri Multi Cancer Early Detection Test could drastically decrease the mortality rate of all cancers. There is much hope for breast cancer and all cancers through science! Our appreciation to the Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation for the opportunity to stay updated on the latest medical developments in breast health and cancer through the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

MINT CANNABIS Buds for Bras raises over $80,000!

MINT CANNABIS Buds for Bras raises over $80,000!

Huge SHOUT OUT to The Mint Dispensary! They have been a stellar community partner and sponsor, creating campaigns to outreach to all of their customers, providing space at their events to bring mobile screening, breast health education, and their incredibly generous donations. Over the past month and a half they have donated in cash and in-kind over $80,000!!! The Mint hosted their Buds N' Bras Fundraising Drive.They donated a $1 for every pre-roll sold $2,600! Funded 2 mammography screening events for 30 women $4,500! Donated $1,000 to our Pink Out 5K! Total cash donations $8,100!!! Plus, they gave away pre-rolls to every customer who donated a bra totaling $69,000 in product give away! The 6,900 bras will be turned into a cash donation to Check for a Lump from The Bra Recyclers! They also donated swag bags to our Pink Out 5K, Wig Out gala Pink Mint/Check for a Lump branded t-shirts to give and to our silent auction! Total donations in cash and in-kind valued at over $80,000!!!! The Mint is making a difference in the fight against breast cancer! We appreciate your support and all the effort that went in your campaigns and events to help us assist more women! #themint #mintdispensary #checkforalump #checkforalumpaz #givingbacktothecommunity #grateful

Thank you letter for our 12th Annual Wig Out Gala!

Thank you letter for our 12th Annual Wig Out Gala!

Our 12th annual WIG OUT gala was truly OUT OF THIS WORLD! For newcomers to our event, I love, love, love to write a long thank you letter as I always witness so many acts of kindness that make our event go live and lively! For those of you who prefer a simply thank you – Thank you for being a part of our Wig Out gala and helping us raise funds to support our breast cancer community and the women we assist thank you even more! We were elated to honor Billie Jo Herberger as our “Surfer Girl with Hope.” We learned about her impressive life accomplishments and courageous battles she has overcome with cancer – with a beautiful smile on her face. She will forever inspire me and our guests to lead with Hope and Joy. We also honored and our clients and heard their touching testimonies. We raised an incredible amount of funds (see below) that will help us sustain our invaluable programs to provide free breast health education, mammograms, wigs, and support. You have made a difference in the fight against breast cancer! You have my eternal gratitude! For those of you who enjoy my backstories and rambling on here you go! As you know we had to postpone our Wig Out gala in 2020 as we were all isolated. Covid tried to crush us, but thanks to the encouragement of our board and financial support with emergency funds from long-time supporters and we held on! If you recall, our gala is typically in April, as October is the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and busy, busy, busy. We host our Pink Out 5K in October plus, we have events that benefit us almost every single day of the month. Overly optimistic, I knew we could pull off two large scale events in one month with our small but mighty staff of two and a half women. We had just moved back into our office, already had our wonderful Title Sponsor, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and most of the gala prep work done back in 2019 with decorations ordered, invites done – easy breezy! We started our prep for 2021 with super exciting news! I happened to meet Mrs. Billie Jo Herberger whose zest for life had me in awe! I rolled the dice and invited her to our gala and allow us the privilege of honoring her as our “Surfer Girl with Hope,” and low and behold she accepted our invitation along with her husband Judd Herberger and friend Bill Lykins! To add to it, one of her best friends and artist Patsy Lowry accepted our invitation to surprise her at our gala. Now to make this our best gala ever! What was it I said? Easy breezy! Famous last words. Our Pink Out 5K was held on October 2nd. We cleaned up and wrapped up October 3rd. With just thirteen days until our Gala, we quickly switched into Wig Out mode. With the craziness of the Pink Out there was no time to look at the schedule to realize we were way behind, plus we had never held a gala outside of a venue, so we knew there would be learning curves. We had hard deadlines to meet every day: printing, swag bags, posterboards, PowerPoints, missing décor, and holy smokes we forgot to get volunteers! We also didn’t consider when we made our yearly solicitation for silent and live auctions that the industries who typically gave in the past were hit hard in 2020 and could not afford to give. We had 5 items for our silent auction, zero live auctions and zero big raffle prize and our gala was less than two weeks away. And then woman down! Our Director of Community Engagement, Angie Knope, came down with Covid, please keep her in her prayers as she is still undergoing chemotherapy with a comprised immune system and still home recovering. Laura Pentsa, our part time Director of Programs, and my right-hand man broke out our gala to do and we both panicked knowing this was too much for us to take on. Desperate for additional help we reached out to previous employees who kindly volunteered their time and saved many days - Ashley Plum, Rayn Fenty, her boyfriend Nate, and Jessica Cadby, who even flew back from her trip to New York to be a part of our event to help!!! Our board member Kate Kunberger and friend Jen Bookout came by the office to help, even constructing my blue waterfall wig for the event! One week away and silent auction items started to roll in from board members and longtime supporters and even a couple live auctions from Titina’s Catering, Tulum Amansala Eco Chic Resort and more! Patsy Lowry filled our Heads and Tails raffle prize with a colorful box full of bejeweled artwork! We were still looking for our big $10,000 raffle when Rich Paulsen from Southern Glazier Wine and Spirits made my day! I called him to coordinate the generous donation from Tito’s and he asked me what else we needed. I shared with him our lack of items and my Spirits Raffle idea of a “Wheelbarrow full of Spirits” and no questions asked he said, “We got you!” I hung up the phone, shared the news with Laura and we danced around the room gleefully! It was coming together! The universe was conspiring with us! Our last day of prep, Friday. It happened to be Laura’s kids spring break. She is a wonderful mother, devoted to her family! She had been in the office extra days and extra-long hours to help me and asked to take Friday off to spend some fun time with her kids. I agreed. Family comes first. Laura is a very kind woman and did not want to abandon me. Again, we forgot the volunteer crew! She knew it was just my husband and me to load the U-Haul, so she brought her kids to the office after their fun day to help load up. Couple hours later we were packed and ready to Wig Out. Laura headed home, John drove the U-Haul to our house, and Kate came by the office to help finish last touches on my wig and wait with me as John accidentally took my car keys and I couldn’t leave the office without locking it up, so I had to wait for him to drive back. And then the phone rang. It was Laura. “I’m okay. But we were just hit by a drunk driver. The kids are okay. My leg hurts, but I’m okay. And I think my car is totaled.” Shook up and in need some emotional support, Kate jumped right in and said I’ll come sit with you until your husband arrives. Kate wound up driving her kids home, so they didn’t have to wait in the parking lot of the restaurant for hours while the police took their reports. (Friends are a special gift – treasure them!) Half an hour later I had my keys in hand and driving home with Laura’s purse, as she left it behind. I dropped it off to her at Urgent Care. She was getting her ankle x-rayed. She was crying. She told me later she was crying because she was worried she would have to miss the Wig Out, not worried about her ankle. I told her not to worry! We got this. Stay home, rest up and see how you feel tomorrow night. Side note – She also laughed and said thank God all the alcohol for the event and raffle was not in her car! Day of the Wig Out. We arrived at the crack of dawn to set up and there were all my trusty board members and husbands helping to set up. Our SOS for volunteers came through. National Charity Leagues chapters came out to help in every direction! And of course, Laura in pain, came out with her husband’s help still wanting to sit and help orchestrate. A couple hours and her pain settled in and that was all the Wig Out she would see that year. Heartbreaking as she put in endless hours and so many beautiful touches, especially to Billie Jo Herberger’s table and our honored guests’ table. We everyone’s help we pulled off a miraculous task. We were ready to Wig Out by 1:30. I jetted off to do my make-up and put on my galactic costume. While getting ready I realized we had important loose ends to tie up. We lost Laura, who was to attend to every need of our honored guest Mrs. Billie Jo Herberger, her husband Judd and their friends Patsy and Bill. Thank goodness Jessica flew back early. She was gracious, fun, and had serving experience. We quickly switched her away from the raffle to be there for every need for our honored guests and ensure they had a good time. Ashley and her cousin Carrie jumped in to help in every direction and the Ring Raffle. Rayn and Nate jumped in too! Jen held down the Heads or Tails raffle. Our board member’s young daughter, Chloe, jumped into her first official job as raffle girl, when Ashley was pulled away, and she was amazing! Loose ends and details miscommunicated are part of running a non-profit. I have learned over the years with events, that at this point in the game/gala, you just let the chips fall where they may as there is nothing else to do, make apologies later if necessary and let the WIG OUT begin! Our guests piled out of cars with extravagant costumes and wigs! Aliens, women and men right out of the Jetsons, astronauts, bedazzled guests head to toe. It fills my heart with joy every year, as I see the smiles from people I have known and loved for years and new excited faces ready for their first wig out! And what better way to greet them but by our beloved photographer Leland Gebarhdt Photography! In addition, we had Paul Gitelson Photography who volunteered his time every year to take candid shots of our guests. They both capture the Wig Out spirit every year. We even had the 501st Legion - the Good and Bad of Star Wars for our guests to enjoy photo opportunities! The energy was incredible! We then entered the Red Room at the Scottsdale Hangar One that is futuristic without a single decoration, however Karma Event Productions went above and beyond with wonderful space age touches! Our “Wig Out Wanda” was floating in space throughout the room. They are the kindest people to work with for event and they bring their A game every year. Joe Dana, 12 News Anchor and reporter donated his time to Emcee and captain our galactic experience. He was fabulous, and auctioneer Anna Aja lifted the spirits and donations in the room! The evening was turning out beautiful! After being isolated for so long our event provided an opportunity to be live, be together, and rejoice in one another’s company. You could feel the community spirit in your soul and view in it on every face. I had the gift to present Billie Jo Herberger as our honored guest, our “Surfer Girl with Hope”. As I mentioned I am in total awe of her, as I think any and everyone who meets her is. Her effervescent energy is contagious, and I aspire to be more like her! She graciously came to the stage to view her video and life’s accomplishments with me. As I watched her video, the inspiring chapters of her life, and knowing the many battles with cancer she has overcome, I wondered, ‘How can her spirit keep bubbling over!” Many in the room asked, “What is her secret!” She truly inspires hope in this world and not just to cancer patients. I had a conversation with one of our supporters who has Crohns disease, and she told me how Billie Jo’s story and passion for life is inspiring her to push on. She said, “If Billie Jo can fill a room with smiles after all she has faced, I can too.” I felt so lucky and honored to stand next to Billie Jo. She spoke and filled the room with her joyous spirit! And then I had the blessed opportunity to dance with Billie Jo while Surfer Girl played in the background. It is a precious memory I will treasure. She has touched my life in so many ways in a very short time period and she will be a life-long role model for me! Next in the program we viewed art in motion, and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. My daughter, Ivy Rose who went through my breast cancer treatment at the age of nine. She offered to perform a dance that captured the emotions of loss and the grief that follows, then rising up with hope and thriving. It is a type of experience a breast cancer survivor goes through. I hope it was as special to everyone in the room, as it was for me, her mother. The emotion and tears continued to flow in the room viewing the true impact our programs have when we presented our honored client video testimonies from Alex, Laura, Lori and Siegren. It takes great courage to share your most vulnerable moments in life. The women are amazing, brave and it is was heartfelt. Unfortunately, two of them were not able to attend with severe chemo side effects and unexpected event. We had them in our hearts and in spirit. I love to see the emotion and pride in our client’s eyes as they view their own testimonies on the screen. They triumphed over cancer and standing before our guests to celebrate their victory. It is beyond a special experience for them! They are Super Survivors! At this point in the program, I would normally make myself vulnerable and dive deep into my breast cancer treatment bringing our guests to tears. But then I had met Billie Jo, who TRULY was effervescent and filled me with joy. She changed my life and I revised my speech as I realized I never wanted to make our guests cry any longer! I want to share hope and joy from here on out! We ended the evening in an out of this world dance party! At one point I think the entire room filled the dance floor as we did a ‘bunny hop’ line round and round the room! I pulled up sponsors one by one to celebrate, they all jumped in and did my favorite dance with me the twist! While on the dance floor I had woman after woman come up to me and share their own testimony of how our programs impacted their life in a positive way, lifting their spirits in a dark time. I want to share one story in particular, Shawn. Shawn was a close connection to Southern Glazier Wine and Spirits (SGWS), and they reached out to me months back when she was first diagnosed. I left her a few messages, but many women going through breast cancer are hesitant to accept outside help. She did receive a wig from our program. When I asked SGWS and Tito’s if they had guests to fill their sponsor table they offered the table to Shawn, who is still going through chemotherapy treatment. I called and left a message and then another. Her friend shared that she was in a dark place, not wanting to leave the house due to chemo side effects to her appearance. I texted again sharing what an incredible experience and gift it would be for her to attend. I had an extra costume, wig, and even a scarf to cover her face so she could be incognito. After several texts with pictures of costumes and wigs she accepted! She filled an entire table of her friends who supported her. She came up to me on the dance floor with a joyous smile and said, “You were right! I needed this so much! How can I ever thank you!” Her testimony is a great example that indeed takes a village to keep our life flowing with joy. It wasn’t me to thank, it was our supporters like SGWS and Tito’s who made it possible, and our supporters who filled the room with exciting energy and people like Billie Jo Herberger to provide the example to model! Our events would also not happen without the generous support of our sponsors. I’d like to thank our Title sponsor: Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Southern Glazier Wine and Spirits, Annual “Big Wig” sponsors: Cigna, Pfizer, Sonora Quest Laboratories, and Arizona Center for Reconstructive Breast Surgery/Gawley Plastic Surgery/MD Skin Lounge/Unicorn Philanthropy. Annual “Bouffant” sponsors: The Mint Dispensary, Solis Mammography, Classy Sisters Wigs, Spinato’s and additional gala sponsors: Karma Event Productions, and Automatic Gate Systems. Also, thanks to NVP Consulting Check-in/Checkout, Pour Masters who kept the drinks flowing, Magic Touch Catering for a delicious meal, Leland Gebardt Photography adding fun on the red carpet, Paul Gitelson Photography capturing candid shots, Harley Bonham videography and the Scottsdale Hangar One for incredible service along with their Valet! I can’t forget a couple special shout outs - to Ashley who jumped up before I even noticed that there were no beads in the room to sell and tended to many other details behind the scenes, I was unaware of. And to sweet Jessica Cadby, “my third daughter”, who did a fabulous job keeping watch on the Herberger’s table to ensure our honored guests were having a nice time. She also did double duty when we realized we had no one selling extra tickets. She stayed until the very last minute as we drove away the U-Haul. And to all who have supported me and my crazy ideas all these years – thank you! Hopeful, I did not miss anyone who played a key role. If so, please know you are appreciated!!! For any blunders we may have made during the event please allow us grace. The Check for a Lump Wig Out gala is a celebration! A celebration of life, a celebration of survivorship, a celebration of hope, and a prime example of how our giving community can impact people’s lives! Our Wig Out gala is a beautiful memory for all of us to treasure! I am forever blessed to be the steward of everyone’s kindness and generosity. Time and time again we come together to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer! This year with your help we raised $67,858!!! My love, admiration, and gratitude to each and every one of you! Live and Give, Holly Rose To view pictures Click Here!

PINK OUT 5K 2021 Results

PINK OUT 5K 2021 Results

We are filled with LOVE for our awesome community who came together to help create a fabulous PINK OUT 5K!

Link to pictures below.

It was our first LIVE event since 2020 and it was a great success! We hit our goal of 500 participants to walk, run or dance their way through our 5K at the scenic Steele Indian School Park. We had over 200 volunteers from the National Charity League, Brownie and Girl Scout Troops and High School Cheerleading teams and our photographer Paul Gitelson to capture it all! Vendors came out with smiles and fun swag and Bashas donated water to keep us all cool. Adv.Fit, our staff and board members rocked the event for a seamless set-up and race. Check for a Lump provided 11 free mammograms to women in the community at the event! Our deepest appreciation to our annual sponsors, without their financial support especially this past year, our event would not have happened - title annual sponsors: Cigna, Pfizer, Sonora Quest, Arizona Center for Reconstructive Breast Surgery, Gawley Plastic Surgery, MD Skin Lounge and additional annual sponsors The Mint, Solis Mammography, Hologic, Spinato’s and Classy Sisters Wigs. Thank you to all our sponsors, participants, vendors, volunteer, board members, staff and more for supporting Check for a Lump and helping to revive our non-profit post 2020. Together we are making a difference in the fight against breast cancer. With your support our 2021 PINK OUT 5K raised $47,099.94!!! All profits will be invested back into our community to provide free breast health education, mammograms, testing, wigs and support! We hope you will join us at our 6th Annual PINK OUT 5K!

We are still accepting donations for team fundraisers. Plus, don't forget many employers can match donations!

Enjoy the fun PINK OUT pictures! (Photos by Paul Gitelson, our staff and participants)

Buds 'n' Bras Fundraising Campaign

Buds 'n' Bras Fundraising Campaign

Our sponsor, The Mint Cannabis Dispensaries, have created a unique fundraiser called "Buds 'n' Bras" to raise breast health education awareness from now till October 15th, 2021. Adults, 21+, can bring in a new or gently used bra to any of the Mint's 3 valley locations, and will receive a free preroll. Additionally, they will generously donate $1 for every pre-rolled sold during this time period benefiting Check for a Lump. Click to read more about our amazing sponsor and their fundraising campaign.

Check for a Lump Supports the PALS Act

Check for a Lump Supports the PALS Act

On July 21st, 2021, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Congressman Fred Upton reintroduced the Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screens (PALS) Act. If passed, the PALS Act would protect access to mammograms for women ages 40-49, a routine, lifesaving screening that the USPSTF currently deems unnecessary for the demographic. “Breast cancer has surpassed lung cancer with the highest incidence globally. Protecting access to equitable breast health screening is vital in the fight against breast cancer. Early detection significantly increases a woman's chance of survival, can decrease the amount of treatment necessary and the economic burden to the patient and healthcare entities,” said Holly Rose CEO of Check for a Lump. Check for a Lump wholeheartedly supports Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screenings (PALS) Act and urges all members of Congress to support and extend the PALS act to ensure equitable breast health care.” Read more about the PALS Act and hear more from the multiple supporters on why the PALS Act is so important.

Finding Relief During Cancer Treatments With Cannabis

Finding Relief During Cancer Treatments With Cannabis

In July, we hosted our Super Survivors event at The Mint Dispensary in Tempe. There were many people who could not attend so we would like to pass along some of the information. Below is a statement from Rudy Molina, Director of Operations at The Mint locations. Finding Relief: The Role Cannabis Can Play in Easing the Most Common Side Effects of Cancer Treatment By Rudy Molina, Director of Arizona Operations, Mint Cannabis Over the past few decades, there has been growing interest in the role that cannabis can play in helping manage the life-altering symptoms of many conditions and their treatment regimens. Cancer is no exception. A diagnosis of breast cancer often comes a grueling treatment regimen from surgery and radiation to chemotherapy and even immunotherapies. These life-saving treatments often come with a host of symptoms that vary in severity, including joint pain, insomnia, anxiety and a host of digestive challenges such as nausea, vomiting and a diminished appetite. For years, patients have found relief through cocktails of prescription medication, each carrying reprieve from a specific symptom. A number of studies, and more importantly, cancer patients’ own feedback, are pointing to cannabis as an opportunity for effective mass-symptom management. In fact, a study presented at the 2019 annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology revealed that the overwhelming majority of oncology providers who were surveyed believed that medical marijuana can help patients. How does cannabis help manage cancer treatment symptoms? For hundreds of years, cannabis has been used as a natural treatment for many of the most common symptoms associated with cancer treatment. Its active ingredients, cannabinoids, help regulate a number of biological functions by interacting with the body’s own endocannabinoid system, which produces its own cannabinoids. What symptoms will it alleviate? Pain: In treating pain, cannabis works similar to opioids, without the debilitating side effects and risk for opioid use disorder (OUD). It has also been shown to provide relief for patients experiencing pain from neuropathy, or nerve damage that manifests itself in weakness, numbness or tingling in hands and feet, which be a complication of chemotherapy and other treatments. Insomnia: As many as half of all people undergoing cancer treatment have trouble falling or staying asleep, increasing risks for anxiety and depression. Cannabis can help restore a natural sleep cycle through its analgesic properties that relive pain and stress. Anxiety: Worry, nervousness and fear are all normal reactions for cancer patients undergoing treatment. Lower-dosages of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a cannabinoid, can be used as a tool to relax the body and mind, providing relief for patients experiencing anxiety. Nausea, Vomiting and Loss of Appetite: According to research on evidence-based management of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, up to 80% of patients receiving chemotherapy will experience some level of these symptoms. When the body’s endocannabinoid system is suppressed, experiencing nausea and vomiting, along with other digestive issues is relatively commonplace. The cannabinoids from cannabis, namely THC, mimics the cannabinoids the body produces and prevent feelings of nausea and vomiting. Similarly, researchers have proven that cannabis is an appetite simulant. Where can oncology patients and their caregivers learn more? Finding out if cannabis can help ease a patient’s symptoms begins with education and open communication. As the stigma around cannabis use for medical purposes begins to dissipate, more open communication increases. Beyond physicians and medical teams, organizations such as Check for a Lump are critical sources for accurate and factual information. Beyond the internal resources and tools that they offer, they can provide insights on the use of marijuana and may even have a roster of survivors and caregivers who can share their own experiences. Marijuana dispensaries are also an invaluable tool, especially when faced with the depth and breadth of available product and dosages. And just as there are countless strains of cannabis available, so too are there many different ways to consume it, not to mention dosages. Working with a budtender at a trusted dispensary is usually the best way to figure out the optimal strain, method and dosage as these vary greatly from individual to individual. While cannabis isn’t a cure for cancer, it can certainly help alleviate many of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with treatment options and improve a survivor’s quality of life. To learn more about cannabis and how it can help ease treatment symptoms, please visit Mint Cannabis at themintcannabis.com, call at 480-749-6468 or visit one of their three Valley locations in Guadalupe/Tempe (5210 S Priest Dr, Guadalupe, AZ 85283), North Phoenix (17036 N Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85032) and Mesa (330 E Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ 85210) Rudy Molina is Director of Operations for Mint Cannabis’ Arizona locations.

Young Hollywood Actress Diagnosed at Age 19 with Breast Cancer

Young Hollywood Actress Diagnosed at Age 19 with Breast Cancer

On Friday, June 18th, young Hollywood actress and star of the Netflix series Anne with an E, Miranda McKeon, announced on Instagram that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer at age 19. McKeon poignantly writes of her diagnosis, future treatments and her feelings of being a young breast cancer patient. We are sending her positive vibes and will be following her journey on Instagram @Miranda.McKeon. To read more https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/anne-e-star-miranda-mckeon-191800316.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAHm8Iq_Iq_DMp0ejPpohwIGoy3jQcKuMmwcUQ1jBlCxTYV4yGlvB6nYD4vmRyUVcYq6T6S9jZ78JvxsSj-WtyjV_Foq9jONvJKos1BvJXkHeaIbIgfyrpLz5USvzRr9n_VMVsNvjJ6uUo7-dQYEphoA0mKITmNNc270b-EqFXClD