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“Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.” –Bill Cosby
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Back in The Swing: A Charity That Helps After the Cancer Has Gone

posted by:
ErikaM

We put much effort in helping women get access to diagnostic exams and help them and their families cope with the emotional, physical, financial and mental battle that ensues during treatment. However, there is a noticeable lack of focus on what happens to these women and their families once the cancer goes away… should the caring stop when the cancer has gone?

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Back in the Swing is unlike any other breast cancer charity because they aren’t raising money to aid in research or giving financial aid – they are advocates of keeping survivors healthy after battling breast cancer. They believe that like treatment plans, recovery plans or survivalship plans should also be drafted and carefully adapted to each survivor to help them get back on their feet. Back in the Swing seeks to partner up with Breast Cancer Centers and Specialists around the country and encourage them to make survivorship plans after the patient has won over cancer.

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They seek to make a lasting impact by offering an Oncology Nurse Training Curriculum to ensure that the nurses who care for survivors are knowledgeable and skilled enough to help patients adjust to their new roles as Survivors. Programs are centered on  on educating and offering solutions to survivors on how to deal with the lasting side effects of treatment such as depression, skin dryness, memory loss, fatigue and loss of sexual desire.

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We applaud the Back in the Swing Foundation for identifying this weak link in breast cancer survivorship. Through their initiatives, women can now look forward to a better life after cancer.

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It Has Begun: Sponsors Start Pull Away From The NFL’s Breast Cancer Campaign

posted by:
ErikaM

In the light of the NFL’s recent struggles, longtime corporate sponsor Procter and Gamble has announced that they would no longer be supporting the NFL’s annual Breast Cancer Campaign. The company, whose brands include Head & Shoulders, Pantene, Tide, Gillette and Pampers has long been a partner of the NFL when it comes to their annual fundraising event.

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Crest, one of P&G’s premiere brands, originally planned to have one player from each team to wear pink mouth guards to raise awareness in addition to their cash pledge. However, the toothpaste brand has also pulled out of the game. In addition, the Radisson Hotel chain has also announced that they would no longer be sponsoring the Minnesota Vikings’ accommodations around the US.

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Before the Ray Rice tapes came out, companies would elbow their way for a spot at the NFL, being that millions of people are tuned it every game. It appears many brands do not want to suffer the backlash associated with the alleged domestic violence tolerance in the NFL. They aren’t comfortable in supporting an event that wants to empower women, but is sponsored by a league that allegedly mishandles domestic violence accusations against their players. Although the NFL has changed their ruling over Ray Rice’s case (from a 2 game suspension to an indefinite suspension), fans and corporations are still looking for a more permanent solution to the problem.

The good news is that Procter & Gamble will still donate their pledged $100,000 to the American Cancer Society albeit directly.

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Woman Steals $20,000 From Her Breast Cancer Charity

posted by:
ErikaM

A Florida woman has been accused of stealing $20,000 from a local breast cancer charity.

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Corrine-Ray Hopkins was charged with grand theft after it was found out that she spent $5000 on personal purchases and used the rest as deposit on a new house. It was hard for Hopkins to deny her involvement as investigators were able to find hard evidence that she spent a year slowly withdrawing from the Charity’s debit account.

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Hopkins was one of the organizers of the annual Pars Fore Pink Golf Tournament which aims to raise money to aid the breast cancer care programs of the Martin Health System in Florida. After interviewing her co-organizers, police found out that they were beginning to suspect Corrine-Rae of wrongdoing because of an incident that happened during the Pars Fore Pink tourney last year. Members of the charity reported that back in 2013, the charity promised to donate $45,000 to a Florida hospital but was surprised when they found out that they only had $23,000 to give.

Thankfully, incidents like these are quite rare. Taking advantage of money donated to help the suffering is not only selfish, but immoral as well. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is coming up fast, so we encourage you to research about the event you want to attend and ascertain that they are a legitimate group or that they are affiliated with known organizations such as the American Cancer Society or the Susan G. Komen Foundation. We know that you work hard for your money and you want it to go where it is needed the most. You can check out Charity Navigator – a site where charities are rated based on their Finances and Transparency.

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Despite our best efforts, there are still many who would take advantage of the goodness of people’s hearts just because they can. Let us not let this isolated incident get in the way of our desire to help those inflicted with breast cancer. As Mad Eye Moody said, let us exercise “Constant Vigilance!”

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The Jolie Effect: How One Woman’s Decision To Talk About Breast Cancer Brought Women To Action

posted by:
ErikaM

We love it when celebrities use their fame for the betterment of other people. When Angelina Jolie announced her decision to undergo a double mastectomy last year because she tested positive for the BRCA1/BRCA 2 gene, more women have come forward to put their genes under the test as well. Jolie decided to get tested because her mother died from Cervical cancer a few years ago.

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A team from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom has discovered the so-called “Jolie Effect” by studying 20 genetic clinics in the UK right after Angelina announced her decision to the public May 2013. Amazingly, they found that more women came forward to have their genes tested in the months following the announcement when compared to the same period in 2012. The number increased more than two and a half times!

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It seems that Angelina’s announcement has made quite the impact on these women. It is as if she got them thinking: If an A-list Hollywood star has the guts to get tested and take her health into her own hands, why can’t I? Of course, it also helped that Angie projects an image of a strong, independent woman. She has opened the eyes of women around the world that breast cancer can affect anybody – even her.

Gene testing is an indespensible tool in fighting the big C. If a woman knows her chances, she can make better decisions about her health by undergoing regular breast checks and adapting a healthier lifestyle.

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Thanks, Angie!

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The BRCA Gene Patented? What This Could Mean To Breast Cancer Patients

posted by:
ErikaM

The discovery of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes has brought hope to millions of women around the world. Now, men and women who are genetically predisposed to breast cancer can make the right choices when it comes to their health. They know they have to be vigilant in performing breast self examination frequently and subject themselves to a mammogram at least every year.

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But what happens when the BRCA 1 and BRCA2 genes become patented?

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The Australian Federal Court has ruled for Myriad Genetics and Genetic Technologies, making it legal to patent the breast cancer gene. Cancer advocates around the world have expressed their outrage about the decision and have lent their support for Ms. Yvonne D’Arcy, a two time cancer survivor, who has filed the suit against the genetics company. According to her, the High Court’s decision wasn’t just against her, but it was against millions of people who will suffer the increased prices of gene testing and treatments once the company has patented the genes.

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A similar case has been filed in the United States last June, also against US Based Myriad Genetics. However, the US Supreme Court ruled against the company saying” Myriad did not create anything…to be sure, it found an important and useful gene, but separating that gene from its surrounding genetic material is not an act of invention.” In most countries, it is against the law to patent anything that occurs naturally such as blood and in this case, genes.

There is no doubt that legally “owning” the gene will give the company permission to make profit out of it. We hope that the Australian Court will consider Ms. D’Arcy’s appeal in the name of all the men and women who can be saved from breast cancer.

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NFL: There Will Be Less Pink This October

posted by:
ErikaM

It hasn’t been the best few weeks for the NFL. In addition to the alleged cover-ups, drug use and domestic violence in the league, another controversy has hit the league- this time involving breast cancer awareness.

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According to an unnamed resource, the National Football League -who has religiously supported Breast Cancer Awareness month for years – is reportedly “dialing down” the pink this October. The reason for this has not been revealed but many are speculating that this has something to do with the recent domestic violence issues that involve NFL players.

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A Crucial Catch is the NFL’s Breast Cancer Awareness in partnership with the American Cancer Society. As part of the campaign, a part of the profits from Crucial Catch games and pink merchandise sold online and on site are donated to the ACS. While the NFL claims that 90% of the profits go directly to breast cancer charities, a report from the ESPN says otherwise. In 2013, it was found out that only 8% went to the American Cancer Society. The rest of the money was divided among the NFL, the manufacturer and the distributor.

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While we do not doubt the power the NFL possesses when it comes to spreading the word, maybe it would be a better idea to donate directly to the ACS if you aren’t big enough fans of the NFL anyway. This way, we can be ensured that 100% of your donations would be used towards finding a cure. Let us remember who we want to help and find ways on how our help can reach them faster.

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Our Favorite BCA Activities from Pinterest!

posted by:
ErikaM

Pinterest is a website described as a “visual discovery tool”. It allows you to choose pictures that spark your creativity by “pinning” them on your very own board. Basically it works as an idea cork board for the internet.

So what does this have to do with breast cancer awareness? Well, we’ve recently discovered that there are  lot of advocates posting great ideas on Pinterest that are perfect for the upcoming Breast Cancer Awareness month! Here are some of our favorites:

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When we saw this picture, two ideas came to mind: Invite all of your friends for a Pink Nail Party  and talk about the nitty gritty of taking good care of the breast. Second, talk to your favorite Nail Art salon about participating in your upcoming event this October.

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How adorable are these? These are a great idea for any fundraising activities in schools especially because most students own a pair of sneakers. If the guys find this a little too frilly for their taste, you can offer them plain pink laces like these.

a2aa7be6b564b6af650cea935f76226bAccording to the post, this is a picture of her daughter’s basketball team showing off the basketball shoes a local business donated to their team for their annual breast cancer game.

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This is a great way to show your support for breast cancer awareness all year long!

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This precious pic was snapped at the Susan G. Komen Atlanta 3-Day in 2013.  We love how these ladies proudly wore their pink! capes during the event!

6ac48634dc5db6e6a8c2e6c50ba0584eHow about a walk were pets are included? There can even be a contest on whose pup’s costume is the cutest! We’re voting for these three, definitely!

Pinterest is a good place to start when you’re looking for ideas for your upcoming breast cancer awareness event! We hope we got the ball rolling for you!

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Smoking Increases the Risk of Aggressive Breast Cancer in Young Women

posted by:
ErikaM

Do you think you’re invincible to cancer because you’re young? Think again!

A study recently found a direct link between smoking at an early age and triple negative breast cancer. Although less commonly seen, triple negative is notorious for its reputation as an aggressive kind of breast cancer – that means women diagnosed with this kind of cancer are less likely to survive.

The study involved women between 20 and 44 years old who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 10 years. Dr. Christopher Li, the study’s senior author found evidence that women who started smoking early in their lifetime are 60% more likely to develop estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.

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According to the American Cancer Society the time that the women started smoking also plays a part in breast cancer risk. Those who started smoking before their first menstrual period had a 61% risk and those who started after their first cycle but 11 or so years before having their first child had a 45% risk. Mia Gaudet, the ACS’s Director of Genetic Epidemiology explained that a woman’s breast tissue is not fully developed until she had her first child and that makes the breasts more susceptible to the negative effects of tobacco.

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In the light of the upcoming breast cancer awareness month, let us put the focus on influencing young women to adapt a healthy lifestyle and put all the focus on developing the body and the mind to achieve their potential.

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If you have been thinking about quitting smoking, do something about it today. Look at the ACS’s Guide to Quitting Smoking and see what small steps you can take to finally free yourself from the negative effects of tobacco. You can do it!

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Self Help: What You Can Do For Yourself for Breast Cancer Awareness

posted by:
ErikaM

Most Breast Cancer awareness activities are centered on helping others by participating in various events or donating to a charity. Participation fosters empowerment of survivors and their families by showing them how that we are willing to walk/run/trek for their cause. Donations are given to charities to help them in their plight to spread the word about early detection, support and treatment options. Some also fund promising research to continue the hunt for the illusive cure.

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This week, we encourage you to step back and divert the passion you feel for helping others towards yourself – what can you do for yourself this breast cancer awareness month?

If you are in your early 30s and 40s, it is never too early to take steps towards early detection and prevention. Here are some of your suggested ‘Self Help’ activities:

  1. Get yourself a mammogram/sonogram appointment for the next 20 years. Schedule it every year on the day you won’t forget – your mom’s birthday, your anniversary or the date of birth of your first born.
  2. Learn how to do a proper Breast Self Examination on yourself and do it every month. It’s best to let your doctor demonstrate the proper way to perform the exam. You can print out a really cute guide to help you out each month.mammary-exam-card
  3. Quit Smoking. It’s as simple as that.
  4. Start a healthy revolution. There are a lot of different kinds of exercises out there go out and find a routine you love and stick to it! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy like joining a gym or buying exercise equipment. It can be as simple as taking a walk thrice a week with a friend.background-image2
  5. Revisit your grocery list. Stop buying foods high in carbohydrates and fat. Stock up on fruits, veggies and other foods that are jam packed with vitamins and minerals to help lessen your risk.
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Sports and Breast Cancer Awareness: Fun Ideas From The Susan G. Komen Foundation

posted by:
ErikaM

Sports and fundraising events always go hand in hand. Both implore the use of hard work, teamwork, and heart – the three things we need to finally put an end to breast cancer.

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The Susan G. Komen Foundation is leading the way to the cure by utilizing the help of sports teams across the nation. Everyone from national sports teams to your local pee wee league can participate in the following sports: Basketball (Hoops for the Cure), Volleyball (Volley/Dig for the Cure), Softball/Baseball (Pitch for the Cure), Pool Tournament (Shoot for the Cure). If your team isn’t listed, head on over to Play for the Cure- a non-specific charity that helps teams from different sports to organize their own rally for breast cancer.

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The foundation also provides resources, ideas and support for individuals or teams who want to part to participate in any of these events. A portion of the proceeds from admission tickets, sales of breast cancer giveaways and donations from guests are donated to the Foundation’s research grants which are in the forefront of finding a way to finding a cure and local charities that give support to individuals battling breast cancer in your community.

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This is also a great time to honor survivors and their families by asking them to participate during halftime events or organizing small talks where they could share their experiences to the younger generation. These stories inspire young people to take up the cause and encourage their loved ones to get their mammograms regularly.

What’s a sports rally for breast cancer without some pink gear?  As always, our friends from Suddora would be more than happy to provide you with quality gear that can be used by the athletes or sold to event spectators… don’t forget to visit them!

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