Tag Archives: breast cancer

Breast cancer treatment

Banner MDA engaged in cutting-edge study

A cutting-edge research study at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center is testing the safety and effectiveness of a new investigational drug that, when combined with chemotherapy, may make a major difference in treating breast cancer in patients who carry harmful mutations on either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.

The Brocade Study will enroll patients with hereditary breast cancer that is metastatic, meaning it has spread to other parts of the body, or locally recurrent, meaning it has come back in the same original area. These patients also have mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, similar to the kind that actress Angelina Jolie inherited. The study is examining the results of the oral drug Veliparib when taken in combination with chemotherapy treatments.

“These breast cancers can be very difficult to treat with traditional chemotherapy regimens. If Veliparib is found to add to the effectiveness of chemotherapy, it would give patients with BRCA mutations and metastatic breast cancer a new option for therapy,” said Mary Cianfrocca, MD, director of the Breast Cancer Program and medical director of the Clinical Cancer Genetics Program at Banner MD Anderson. Dr Cianfrocca is also the principal investigator for the Brocade Study at Banner MD Anderson.

Veliparib is designed to prevent the cancer cell from repairing itself by blocking a protein called PARP, possibly making the cell more susceptible to anti-cancer drugs. Banner MD Anderson is the only health care facility in Arizona which is offering the study. To learn more about the BROCADE study call 480-256-3420 or visit, www.brocadestudy.com.

Banner MD Anderson, located on the Banner Gateway campus, delivers cancer care to patients in Arizona through the collaboration of Banner Health and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Banner MD Anderson offers focused disease-specific expertise in the medical, radiation and surgical management of the cancer patient. The center uses an evidence-based, multidisciplinary approach to patient care, and provides access to clinical trials and new investigative therapies. Banner MD Anderson also offers state-of-the-art technology for diagnosing, staging and treating all types of cancer. For more information, visit www.BannerMDAnderson.com.


UA Study Targets Latinas with Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Latinas, but patients often have limited access to resources to help them cope psychologically.

A research study to evaluate the impact of low cost telephone-delivered counseling on quality of life for Latinas with breast cancer and their supporters is being led by Terry A. Badger, PhD, RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN, professor and division director of community and systems health science at the University of Arizona College of Nursing and a member of the UA Cancer Center.

Dr. Badger received funding from the American Cancer Society to conduct the Telephone Health Education and Support Project, which is open nationwide to eligible participants and their supporters, who can include spouses, family members or friends.

“Latinas are a growing and particularly vulnerable population with regard to breast cancer, because they tend to be diagnosed at later stages, to be sicker, and, in particular, have fewer easily accessible resources to deal with their psychological distress,” said Dr. Badger. “Untreated distress is associated with poorer health outcomes, so we designed a study to offer support for this distress that could easily be accessed by these patients.”

The study is comparing two groups, each composed of women and their designated supporters. One group of women and their supporters receives a counseling-focused intervention and the other receives an educationally-focused intervention. The interventions are delivered by specially trained professionals in a 30 to 40 minute telephone call once a week for eight weeks.

“In our research, we have found over and over that the supporter has as much if not more psychological distress than the survivor themselves,” said Dr. Badger. “This makes it critical that we provide services to both the Latina and her supporter.”

Christina Castro, a 58-year-old mother of three from Tucson, decided to participate in the study with her husband after she was diagnosed with breast cancer seven months ago.

“The call once a week was something to look forward to,” said Castro. “It was really easy to talk to someone who wasn’t a family member, but someone who would just listen to me. Being at home really helped make it comfortable, and it was set up at a time that was convenient for us. The calls were both comforting and empowering. I would definitely encourage others to do it.”

“We have participants from all over, including Yuma, New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada,” said Dr. Badger. “Research team members call participants in the evenings or on weekends, whenever it’s convenient for the patient and their partner. We can deliver this intervention anywhere as long as participants have access to a telephone.”

To learn more, call 1-866-218-6641 or email Maria Figueroa at mcf2@email.arizona.edu or Dr. Badger at tbadger@email.arizona.edu.


UA Seeking People for Breast Cancer-Vegetable Study

University of Arizona Cancer Center researchers are seeking participants in Maricopa County for a study designed to determine if a compound found in broccoli can enhance the health-promoting effects of the breast cancer drug Tamoxifen in women at risk of developing breast cancer or those previously treated for early-stage breast cancer.

Since receiving a $3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute in 2011, UACC researcher Cynthia Thomson, PhD, RD, and her team have recruited 106 women who are taking Tamoxifen for the DIME study. Enrollment will continue both in Tucson and Phoenix, through the early part of 2014 with a goal of 170 participants.

Tamoxifen is an accepted treatment for breast cancer. Dr. Thomson, a professor of Health Promotion Sciences in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona, notes that data from diet studies of people who have a higher intake of cruciferous vegetables – cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and broccoli – suggest that intake may reduce the risk of certain cancers, including breast, colorectal, bladder and possibly prostate.

“We have previously shown that women taking Tamoxifen who eat more vegetables may decrease cancer recurrence risk. This study will test the potential health-promoting effects using one isolated bioactive compound found in cruciferous vegetables, diindolylmethane (DIM), and compare it to a placebo intervention in favorably changing hormone levels and breast characteristics like breast density,” Dr. Thomson says.

Alison Stopeck, MD, a co-investigator in the study and the director of the Clinical Breast Cancer Program at the UA Cancer Center, sees this research as a unique opportunity to determine the potential of non-invasive imaging to be a reliable biomarker for breast cancer risk. Women in the study will complete periodic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures for measuring breast characteristics.

Study participants will be asked to take the supplement or placebo for 18 months and complete periodic clinical evaluation visits. The supplement is a patented, absorption enhancing formulation of diindolylmethane known as BioResponse DIM® (also known under the tradenames Indolplex® or BR-Dim®) supplied by BioResponse, LLC, of  Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the DIME study in Maricopa County, call Dianne Parish, RN, at 602-264-4461 for Central Phoenix or Patti Blair, RN, at 480-461-3772 for Mesa. More information is also available at azcc.arizona.edu/node/3628.

The DIME Study is supported by grant number CA149417 from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

breast cancer

Macy's Partners With Local Charity to Raise Funds and Awareness for Breast Cancer

Macy’s will partner with City of Hope’s Walk for Hope to Cure Breast Cancer to invite customers to participate in Macy’s eighth annual national “Shop For A Cause” charity shopping event on August 24. Customers can purchase shopping passes from City of Hope now. Macy’s “Shop For A Cause” is a unique one-day-only shopping event created to support local charities’ fundraising efforts, which has helped raise more than $46 million for charities across the country since 2006.

“Over the past eight years, Macy’s annual ‘Shop For A Cause’ has raised more than $46 million for local and national charities, providing our associates and customers an opportunity to give back to those organizations that touch their hearts each and every day,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer. “Giving back is a key component of Macy’s culture. We are honored to offer our customers an easy and convenient way to make a positive difference in their communities and in the lives of others, while enjoying great savings at Macy’s.”


Macy’s has provided City of Hope with shopping passes to sell for $5 each. City of Hope will keep 100 percent of every shopping pass it sells. The more City of Hope sells, the more money it will raise.

By purchasing a shopping pass from City of Hope, customers support breast cancer research while enjoying a day of spectacular discounts, entertainment and special events at Macy’s. Pass holders will receive special discounts on most regular, sale and clearance purchases all day, but some exclusions apply.

“We’re excited to continue our 17-year legacy, and again raise money for research at City of Hope,” said Barbara Westberg, coordinator of the 2013 Walk for Hope Phoenix. “Walk for Hope is making a difference in the lives of women everywhere by supporting research that is bringing us closer to cures for breast cancer.”

For more information about Macy’s “Shop For A Cause,” visit macys.com/shopforacause. To purchase a shopping pass from City of Hope, contact Barbara Westberg at bwestberg@coh.org. To register for or donate to Walk for Hope please visit walk4hope.org/phoenix.

About City of Hope:
City of Hope is a leading research, treatment and education center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest honor bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, City of Hope’s research and treatment protocols advance care throughout the nation. City of Hope is located in Duarte, Calif., just northeast of Los Angeles, and is ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” in cancer and urology byU.S.News & World Report. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation and genetics. 


John C. Lincoln offers state’s 1st Low Dose 3D mammograms

John C. Lincoln’s Breast Health and Research Center in North Phoenix is now Arizona’s first site to offer low dose 3-D mammography, the latest innovation in breast cancer screening.

The new low dose 3-D system from Hologic requires less compression time and reduces radiation exposure. It does this by creating 2-D images from the 3-D data set, thus eliminating the separate digital X-ray that was part of the original 3-D imaging process.

“Even though groundbreaking 3-D mammograms met FDA safety standards while providing never-before seen image clarity, some patients worried about the level of exposure,” said breast radiologist Linda Greer, MD, medical director of the John C. Lincoln Breast Health and Research Center. “This new low dose technology completely eliminates that concern.”

Hologic’s new ‘C-View’ imaging software was approved May 16 by the FDA. The new, low dose 3-D mammograms are now available at the same cost as conventional 2-D mammography at John C. Lincoln’s Breast Health and Research Center, 19646 N. 27th Ave., #205. Also, the new technology is clinically proven to significantly reduce unnecessary patient recalls while simultaneously improving cancer detection.

“Lower dose 3-D mammography is an important evolution in breast cancer screening,” Dr. Greer says. “Large-scale clinical studies in the U.S. and Europe have shown that screening with 3-D mammography allows radiologists to visualize the breast in greater detail than with 2-D mammography alone. That results in earlier detection of cancers, while at the same time reducing the false positives associated with conventional 2-D mammography.”

False positives are unclear results that require patients to return for additional medical imaging to rule out cancer and can cause unnecessary anxiety and cost. “No matter how you look at it,” Dr. Greer said, “lower dose 3-D breast cancer screening provides a better patient experience.”

Being first to offer low dose 3-D mammography is typical for John C. Lincoln’s Breast Health Center, which has a history of being at the forefront of breast cancer screening. It was first in the Valley to offer breast imaging in a spa-like setting; first in Arizona to offer 3-D screening that is rapidly becoming the worldwide standard of care; and one of the first in the nation designated a Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.

For more information, visit JCL.com/breasthealth.


John C. Lincoln offers state's 1st Low Dose 3D mammograms

John C. Lincoln’s Breast Health and Research Center in North Phoenix is now Arizona’s first site to offer low dose 3-D mammography, the latest innovation in breast cancer screening.

The new low dose 3-D system from Hologic requires less compression time and reduces radiation exposure. It does this by creating 2-D images from the 3-D data set, thus eliminating the separate digital X-ray that was part of the original 3-D imaging process.

“Even though groundbreaking 3-D mammograms met FDA safety standards while providing never-before seen image clarity, some patients worried about the level of exposure,” said breast radiologist Linda Greer, MD, medical director of the John C. Lincoln Breast Health and Research Center. “This new low dose technology completely eliminates that concern.”

Hologic’s new ‘C-View’ imaging software was approved May 16 by the FDA. The new, low dose 3-D mammograms are now available at the same cost as conventional 2-D mammography at John C. Lincoln’s Breast Health and Research Center, 19646 N. 27th Ave., #205. Also, the new technology is clinically proven to significantly reduce unnecessary patient recalls while simultaneously improving cancer detection.

“Lower dose 3-D mammography is an important evolution in breast cancer screening,” Dr. Greer says. “Large-scale clinical studies in the U.S. and Europe have shown that screening with 3-D mammography allows radiologists to visualize the breast in greater detail than with 2-D mammography alone. That results in earlier detection of cancers, while at the same time reducing the false positives associated with conventional 2-D mammography.”

False positives are unclear results that require patients to return for additional medical imaging to rule out cancer and can cause unnecessary anxiety and cost. “No matter how you look at it,” Dr. Greer said, “lower dose 3-D breast cancer screening provides a better patient experience.”

Being first to offer low dose 3-D mammography is typical for John C. Lincoln’s Breast Health Center, which has a history of being at the forefront of breast cancer screening. It was first in the Valley to offer breast imaging in a spa-like setting; first in Arizona to offer 3-D screening that is rapidly becoming the worldwide standard of care; and one of the first in the nation designated a Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.

For more information, visit JCL.com/breasthealth.

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Thermal Imaging Company in Scottsdale Aims to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

De Novo Scan, a clinical thermal imaging company, had its grand opening ceremony for their new location in Scottsdale on Tuesday, July 23. Mayor Lane was present, along with Tina Clemmons, the president/founder. A demonstration of the equipment was available for attendees and media to experience the thermography technology.

De Novo Scan’s mission is to help women find breast disease/cancer earlier and without the use of harmful radiation. They also desire to help make the “1 in every 8 women diagnosed with breast cancer” statistic a broader ratio. There are approximately 55,000 women in Scottsdale between the ages of 18 and 40, and De Novo Scan is eager to reach these women to educate them about this invaluable breast-cancer-screening tool.

De Novo Scan uses clinical thermography for breast screenings to detect certain breast abnormalities that can be seen 8 to 10 years prior to being discovered by mammography. Thermography is the simple idea of physiology. It maps your body’s temperatures to “color code” possible risks and health problems. When reading a thermal imaging scan, the color red indicates inflammation, and, therefore, a risk of future disease. The awareness of this risk allows the patient an opportunity for early detection as well as early intervention. A recent demonstration of the use of thermography was on a world-wide stage when police forces caught the Boston Marathon bombing suspect hiding in a boat. They used thermography to detect the suspect’s body heat through the boat’s cover.

While thermal imaging is not a new technology, it has vastly improved over the past 40 years. It is used in the military, in police departments and in meteorology in order to forecast possible storms and/or heat waves. Approved for use in the healthcare arena by the FDA in 1982, thermal imaging can detect suspicions in the breasts and other areas of the body. It’s proven powerful in identifying inflammatory issues that can lead to disease. De Novo Scan’s thermal imaging can detect much more than breast cancer; it also can be used to screen the full cranial and thyroid, periodontal inflammation, the back of the neck, full back, stomach, abdomen, large and small intestines, kidneys, colon, ovaries, uterus and more.

De Novo Scan owns one of the most advanced mobile thermal imaging machines; clients can be scanned at De Novo Scan’s office or in some cases, at their own doctor’s office. A scan typically takes 15-30 minutes and can be done on one specific area of the body or on the full body. Results are read by a doctor with more than 20 years of experience in reading and interpreting thermal images. Results are returned to the client within seven days of the scan along with alternative treatment options. 

Amanda Beard Approved Image_SM

Beard will Chair 21st Komen Phoenix Race for the Cure

Olympic Gold Medalist Amanda Beard has teamed with Susan G. Komen Central and Northern Arizona® as the Honorary Race Chair for the 21st Annual Komen Phoenix Race for the Cure®. A breast cancer co-survivor, Beard is a long-time advocate and is serving as the Honorary Race Chair in honor of her paternal grandmother, “Nana,” a 10-year breast cancer survivor.

Beard is an icon both inside and outside of the pool, becoming much more than the 14-year-old Olympic gold medalist with the teddy bear. At 14 in 1996, Amanda made her first Olympic swimming debut, winning one Gold and two Silver medals, which set the tone for the rest of her career. She went on to win another Gold, two Silvers and a Bronze at the next two Olympic Games. Beard also holds an impressive eight national titles and is a former world record holder.

Beard applies this same drive and determination in the community and has played an integral role in multiple breast cancer movements, organizations and events through the years.

“Everyone knows someone touched by breast cancer and it’s affected me personally and deeply. I’m proud to give back and be a part of this Race that brings people together and does so much for our community in the promise to end breast cancer forever,” said Beard.

With the theme of the 21st Annual Komen Phoenix Race for the Cure “I CAN,” Beard encourages each individual to commit to doing something in the fight against breast cancer and register today. As for Beard, “I CAN be a warrior and fight for my Nana.”

As Honorary Race Chair, Beard will officially kick-off the Komen Phoenix Race for the Cure and has formed the team “Swim Like A Mom,” with the fundraising goal of $4,470 – $1 for every woman in Arizona who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. The public is welcome to join her team and/or donate to her fundraising goal at phoenix.info-komen.org/goto/swimlikeamom.

The Komen Phoenix Race for the Cure will take place Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013 at the State Capitol District. It is one of Arizona’s signature 5K events and also features a one-mile family fun run and walk.

In 2012, more than 20,000 race participants raised $1.6 million to support year-round mission impact work by Komen CAN Arizona. The Komen Phoenix Race for the Cure is the Affiliate’s signature fundraising event, with 75 percent of all monies raised staying in the community and 25 percent going directly to research. Since its inception, Komen CAN Arizona has distributed more than $18.8 million in community grants and $5.4 million to research, making the organization the largest private grantor of community breast cancer funds in Arizona.

Key to the Affiliate’s fundraising efforts is sponsor support, which allows Komen’s dollars to go even farther. Komen CAN Arizona is grateful to welcome back Fry’s Food Stores as its VIP Partner for the 2013 Race. This will mark the ninth year in a row that Fry’s has participated as VIP Partner, contributing more than $2.1 million in cash and in-kind contributions through the years.

Race registration is now open. Teams consisting of 10 or more individuals must be registered by 5 p.m., Sept. 29 to qualify for Team Awards. Individuals may register up until Race Day, but Race registration fees for individuals increase from $30 to $35 (adults) and $15 to $20 (ages 12 and under) beginning 5:01 p.m. Sept. 29, 2013. Registration for breast cancer survivors is $20 through Race Day.

To learn more, or register, visit www.komenCANaz.org or call 602-346-CURE (2873).


TGen-TD2-Scottsdale Healthcare study benefits patients

The Side-Out Foundation’s breast cancer pilot study, led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Translational Drug Development (TD2) and Scottsdale Healthcare, has shown that cancer patients do better when their treatment is guided by molecular profiling.

Specifically, 52 percent of patients with advanced breast cancer received clinical benefit – meaning their disease was controlled for a longer time – when their cancer was treated based on addressing the abnormal proteins in their tumor, according to the study conducted at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials, a partnership of Scottsdale Healthcare and TGen.

Each patient’s treatment was “personalized,” meaning that the therapy they received was based on their individual tumor biology.

“This study demonstrates the feasibility of personalized cancer treatment, and shows that this approach merits further investigation in future studies,” said Gayle Jameson, Nurse Practitioner at Scottsdale Healthcare’s Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials and the study’s Principal Investigator.

“The success of this pilot study will lead to a larger study and hopefully greater clinical benefit for more patients with advanced breast cancer,” said Jameson, who presented the results of the study in June at the 2013 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago.

Due to the overwhelmingly positive results, a new study incorporating additional technology for tumor analysis, Side-Out II, will open at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials in the near future for patients with advanced breast cancer.

“The success of our pilot proof-of-concept study has established a firm launching pad for the upcoming Side-Out II study, which involves a more in-depth investigation of tumor biology with an expanded repertoire of tests to direct personalized treatment,” said Dr. Jasgit Sachdev, M.D., a breast cancer specialist and Associate Professor at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials.

“By showing the significant advantages of molecular profiling, this pilot study has enabled us to move forward with a project that should strengthen the evidence for using this approach in routine clinical care.”

The recent pilot study built on previous studies by Scottsdale Healthcare and TGen that showed the value of guiding treatment based on molecular profiling, in which each patient’s tumor was analyzed for protein abnormalities that may “drive” the cancer’s growth. The results pointed investigators toward specific genetic changes that might be addressed by specific medications.

Beyond molecular profiling, the pilot study also included mapping proteomic pathways within the tumor tissue so each patient could receive a highly targeted regimen designed to impede their cancer growth.

All of the patients in the recent study had advanced breast cancer that had progressed following multiple previous chemotherapy treatments. Of the 25 patients, 13 received clinical benefit as a result of molecular profiling. For all 25 patients, the therapy selected based on their tumor analysis was different than what they would have received in their next planned treatment, if they had not participated in the study.

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare was the lead site in the 2-½ year pilot study. In addition, patients in the study were treated at Virginia Cancer Specialists, US Oncology, in Fairfax, Vir.; and at Evergreen Hematology & Oncology in Spokane, Wash.

Translational Drug Development (TD2), a TGen company, managed the pilot clinical trial, and will also oversee the follow-on study, Side-Out II.

“This was an exciting study for TD2,” said Linda Vocila, BSN, RN, Director of Clinical Operations at TD2 and co-author of the study. “It demonstrates that close collaboration between physicians and scientists leads to greater clinical benefit for patients with cancer.”

Two labs analyzed tissue: the Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine (CAPMM) at George Mason University in Manassas, Vir.; and Caris Life Sciences in Phoenix.

The Side-Out Foundation of Fairfax, Vir., sponsored the study.

To participate in a clinical trial at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center, please contact Patient Care Coordinator Joyce Schaffer at 480-323-1339 or joschaffer@shc.org.

woman pinching stomach

Are The Symptoms You're Feeling Early Signs Of Cancer?

Reading the signs: Are the symptoms you’re feeling early signs of cancer? Why women ignore the signs, and what they may mean.

While women are busy caring for their children, their clients or both, there’s one important individual they tend to neglect — themselves. More frequently than not, women don’t make their own health a priority, ignoring symptoms that could be early signs of cancer.

“Women frequently ignore symptoms because they are simply busy,” says Dr. Daniel Maki, M.D., director of breast imaging at Scottsdale Medical Imaging (SMIL). “They are head of the household, often responsible for so many others that they put their own health on the back burner.”

What’s worse is some women believe the symptoms will just go away, so they ignore or deny the symptoms, according to Dr. Clayton Palowy, M.D., medical oncologist with Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers in Chandler.

“It’s human nature to ignore symptoms because you don’t want to view the worst, and you start rationalizing them as natural causes,” says Dr. Mike Janicek, M.D., medical director of the Cancer Genetic Risk Assessment Program at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare Medical Center. “I would say it’s the slowness of some of the symptoms that may sneak under the radar and makes it difficult for women to pay attention to symptoms, when in retrospect, it’s clear to them.”

Many symptoms such as bloating, irregular vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain seem typical, but, in reality, these and a few common symptoms that could be signs of various types of cancers.

Breast cancer

The stats:

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women and is the second-leading cause of cancer death among women, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In the U.S. in 2012, it was estimated by the National Cancer Institute that there were nearly 227,000 new cases of breast cancer and more than 39,000 deaths.

The symptoms:

The most common complaint or symptom is a lump in the breast.

“Depending on what the lump (cancer) invades during its growth, it may cause a variety of different symptoms based on what it grows into,” says Dr. Maki.

“If the lump invades into the nipple or skin, it can begin causing retraction or dimpling,” he adds. “If the lump invades a blood vessel and milk duct, it can cause blood to be discharged from the nipple. If it invades nerve fibers, it can cause pain. If it invades the skin, it can cause thickening or change in texture of the skin itself.”

Other symptoms include:

  • Discharge from the nipple (particularly a bloody discharge)
  • Nipple inversion or retraction
  • Skin dimpling (along one edge of the breast) or retraction

“Sometimes patients even describe simply a ‘thickening’ of an area of the breast rather than a discrete lump,” says Dr. Maki.

Palowy says that breast changes such as a red breast is an early sign of inflammatory breast cancer and can be mistaken for infection.

Symptoms mistaken for:

Many of the symptoms are often attributed to cysts or one’s menstrual cycle, according to Maki. And in a large number of patients with lumps or pain, the assumption may often be correct.

“However, occasionally these symptoms do unfortunately represent early stages of breast cancer, and any new breast symptoms should always be brought to the attention of one’s doctor,” Dr. Maki says.


Mammograms and screenings are the best way to find breast cancer early. Also, be aware of your family history and risk factors. The National Cancer Institute has a Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool helps estimate a woman’s risk of developing invasive breast cancer. Visit cancer.gov/bcrisktool.

Cervical cancer

The stats:

All women are at risk for cervical (uterine cervix) cancer, which forms in the tissue of the cervix (the organ connecting the uterus and vagina) and is almost always caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. However, it occurs more often in women over the age of 30.

In the U.S. in 2012, the National Cancer Institute estimated more than 12,000 new cases of cervical cancer and more than 4,000 deaths.

The symptoms:

  • Bleeding with intercourse: This is often mistaken for “just too much friction,” according to Dr. Deborah Wilson, M.D., of Scottsdale.
  • Bleeding after intercourse: Mistaken for the start of one’s period.
  • Irregular or heavy vaginal bleeding pre-menopausal: Mistaken for an abnormal period and could also be a symptom of uterine cancer.
  • Bleeding after menopause: Mistaken for an unexpected period and could also be a symptom of uterine cancer.


Two tests can help prevent or find cervical cancer early: a Pap test (or a pap smear) and the HPV test.

Ovarian cancer

The stats:

Ovarian cancer forms in the tissues of the ovary, with most ovarian cancers either ovarian epithelial carcinomas (cancer that begins in the cells on the surface of the ovary) or malignant germ cell tumors (cancer that begins in egg cells).

The National Cancer Institute estimates that there were more than 22,000 new cases of cervical cancer and more than 15,000 deaths in 2012 in the United States.

The symptoms:

  • Bloating: Mistaken for gas pain.
  • Pelvic pain: Mistaken for indigestion.
  • Early satiety
  • Chronic indigestion: Mistaken for food intolerance.


As with breast cancer, know your family history and inherited risk and changes, such as changes in the breast cancer susceptibility genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. However, according to the CDC, most breast and ovarian cancers are primarily due to aging, the environment and lifestyle.

“Ovarian cancer has no screening test, so that’s the one that most people focus on the symptoms,” says Janicek. “By the time you get bloating and some of the other symptoms, it’s often in its advanced stages.”

Know your history

The No. 1 symptom to consider? Family history, according Janicek.

“Family history is an unusual but very important symptom,” says Janicek. “And it’s not just for breast, but for ovarian and lynch syndrome. People don’t think of family history as a symptom, but it is. If you have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, you may be at genetic risk for cancer.”

Compile your family’s health history, and go as far back as three generations. Janicek says to let other family members know when another family member gets cancer. Not only will you and your family be informed, but it will also help the doctor look for any patterns of disease in the family.

Visit My Family Health Portrait’s website at familyhistory.hhs.gov to help collect and track your family health history.

Collect the following information about both your mother’s and father’s sides of the family:

  • Number of close relatives with breast or ovarian cancer: mother, sister(s), daughter(s), grandmothers, aunt(s), niece(s), and granddaughter(s)
  • Ages when the cancers were diagnosed
  • Whether anyone had cancer of both breasts
  • Breast cancer in male relatives
  • Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish ancestry

For more information about cancer treatment and prevention, visit:

Scottsdale Medical Imaging
Scottsdale Medical Center
3501 N. Scottsdale Rd., #130, Scottsdale
(480) 425-5081

Ironwood Cancer & Research Centers
695 S. Dobson Rd., Chandler
(480) 821-2838

Scottsdale Healthcare Medical Center
Scottsdale Gynecologic Oncology
10197 N. 92nd St., #101, Scottsdale
(480) 993-2950

Deborah Wilson, M.D., Gynecology
8997 E. Desert Cove,  #105, Scottsdale
(480) 860-4791

Scottsdale Living Magazine Winter 2013


TGen-US Oncology data helps triple-negative breast cancer patients

Genomic sequencing has revealed therapeutic drug targets for difficult-to-treat, metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), according to an unprecedented study by the Translational Genomic Research Institute (TGen) and US Oncology Research.

The study is published by the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics and is currently available online.

By sequencing, or spelling out, the billions of letters contained in the genomes of 14 tumors from ethnically diverse metastatic TNBC patients, TGen and US Oncology Research investigators found recurring significant mutations and other changes in more than a dozen genes. In addition, the investigators identified mutations previously unseen in metastatic TNBC and took the sequencing data into account in selection of therapeutic protocols specific to each patient’s genetic profile.

“This study stands as a one-of-a-kind effort that has already led to potentially beneficial clinical trials, and sets the stage for future investigations,” said Dr. John Carpten, Ph.D., TGen’s Deputy Director of Basic Science and Director of TGen’s Integrated Cancer Genomics Division, and the study’s senior author.

The most frequently mutated gene among the tumors (seven of 14) was the TP53 tumor suppressor, and aberrations were observed in additional tumor suppressor genes including CTNNA1, which was detected in two of six African American patients (who typically have more aggressive and treatment-resistant disease). Alterations were also seen in the ERBB4 gene, known to be involved in mammary-gland maturation during pregnancy and lactation, but not previously linked to metastatic TNBC.

The study included an “outlier analysis,” which assessed expression patterns for each tumor when compared against the other tumors examined in the study. Specific cancer genes overexpressed among tumors in the study’s cohort included: ALK, AR, ARAF, BRAF, FGFR2, GLI1, GLI2, HRAS, HSP90AA1, KRAS, MET, NOTCH2, NOTCH3, and SHH. Significantly underexpressed cancer genes included: BRCA1, BRCA2, CDKN2A, CTNNA1, DKK1, FBXW7, NF1, PTEN, and SFN.

Each tumor was genomically unique, but nine of the 14 contained alterations in one or both of two particular cellular pathways: RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT/MTOR.  Targeted therapeutic intervention aimed at these pathways achieved impressive responses in several cases.

“Importantly, the analysis provided insights into the potential unique therapeutic vulnerabilities of each cancer,” said Dr. Joyce O’Shaughnessy, M.D., the study’s other co-lead author. Dr. O’Shaughnessy is a practicing oncologist with Texas Oncology — an affiliate of The US Oncology Network — and is the Celebrating Women Chair of Breast Cancer Research at Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center.

Metastatic TNBC is a highly aggressive form of breast cancer that disproportionately affects African-Americans. It is called triple-negative because tumors do not express the estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor or HER-2, the biomarkers successfully targeted in most breast cancers.

Metastatic TNBC also has a poor prognosis once the cancer has spread to other organs, with a median survival rate among metastatic patients of only one year. While TNBC accounts for only about 15 percent of all breast cancers, its more aggressive biology makes it responsible for nearly one in four deaths related to this disease.

“The nature of this disease cries out for innovative research techniques such as whole genome sequencing coupled with new tools for data analysis,” said Dr. David Craig, Ph.D., TGen’s Deputy Director of Bioinformatics, and one of the study’s co-lead authors.

“We are aware that these results are preliminary and based on a small series of patients,” said Carpten. “However, our study will pave the way for new clinical trials and novel hypotheses for future testing in a very difficult to treat cancer.”

Whole-genome sequencing of tumors and normal tissue was performed on Life Technologies Corporation’s Applied Biosystems SOLiD™ 4.0 platform, and results were validated in a CLIA-certified laboratory.

The study, “Genome and transcriptome sequencing in prospective triple negative breast cancer uncovers therapeutic vulnerabilities,” is sponsored by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and US Oncology Research with support from Life Technologies Corporation.

Molecular Cancer Therapeutics is one of several peer-reviewed scientific journals published by the 34,000-member American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the oldest and largest scientific organization in the world focused on every aspect of high-quality, innovative cancer research. The programs and services of the AACR foster the exchange of knowledge and new ideas among scientists dedicated to cancer research, provide training opportunities for the next generation of cancer researchers, and increase public understanding of cancer.



Study reveals genomic similarities between breast cancer and ovarian cancers

One subtype of breast cancer shares many genetic features with high-grade serous ovarian cancer, a cancer that is very difficult to treat, according to researchers. The findings suggest that the two cancers are of similar molecular origin, which may facilitate the comparison of therapeutic data for subtypes of breast and ovarian cancers.

The researchers, using data generated as part of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), described new insights into the four standard molecular subtypes based on a comprehensive characterization of samples from 825 breast cancer patients.

The study, a collaborative effort funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), both part of NIH, was published online Sept. 23, 2012, and in print Oct. 4, 2012, in the journal Nature.

“The International Genomics Consortium provided high-quality cancer tissue samples for this critical study that is of important translational value and will lead to important new discoveries in the future,” said Dr. Robert Penny, IGC’s Chief Executive Officer and Principal Investigator of the Biospecimen Core Resource and Tissue Source Site network. “As the most common cancer in women, this study is keystone in helping to find new breast cancer treatment options.”

David Mallery, IGC’s president, said that, “The International Genomics Consortium is committed to finding better approaches to assist cancer patients and their physicians. Our expertise in overseeing top research networks and curating quality clinical data and biospecimens will enable us to continue to help advance patient care.”

“TCGA’s comprehensive characterization of their high-quality samples allows researchers an unprecedented look at these breast cancer subgroups,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.

Analyses of genomic data have confirmed that there are four primary subtypes of breast cancer, each with its own biology and survival outlooks.  These TCGA findings are based on a large number of breast cancer specimens that capture a complete view of the genomic alterations.  The four groups are called intrinsic subtypes of breast cancer: HER2-enriched (HER2E), Luminal A (LumA), Luminal B (LumB) and Basal-like.  A fifth type, called Normal-like, was observed, but because of small numbers (only eight specimens) the researchers were unable to rigorously study it.

The TCGA Research Network uncovered marked genomic similarities between the Basal-like subtype and serous ovarian cancer. The mutation spectrum, or types and frequencies of genomic mutations, were largely the same in both cancer types. Further analyses identified several additional common genomic features, such as gene mutation frequency, suggesting that diverse genomic aberrations can converge into a limited number of cancer subtypes.

Computational analyses show that Basal-like breast cancer and serous ovarian cancer might both be susceptible to agents that inhibit blood vessel growth, cutting off the blood supply to the tumor, as well as to compounds that target DNA repair, which include chemotherapy drugs such as cisplatin.

The Basal-like subgroup has also been called Triple Negative Breast Cancer because many, though not all, Basal-like tumors are negative when tested for three receptors: the estrogen receptor, the progesterone receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). These receptors can trigger potent cell growth responses and act like a nametag, identifying the cell to the environment. The absence of these receptors means that treatments that target them will most likely be ineffective.

“The molecular similarity of one of the principal subtypes of breast cancer to that found in ovarian cancer gives us additional leverage to compare treatments and outcomes across these two cancers,” noted Harold Varmus, M.D., NCI director.  “This treasure trove of genetic information will need to be examined in great detail to identify how we can use it functionally and clinically.”

According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 1.3 million new cases of breast cancer and 450,000 deaths worldwide annually. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. The majority of cases are sporadic, meaning there is not a family history of breast cancer, as opposed to genetic, where genes predispose a person to the disease.  Men can also develop breast cancer, but it accounts for less than 1 percent of breast cancer cases.

Breast cancer tumors that have the HER2 receptor are called HER2-positive, and those that don’t are called HER2-negative. When researchers analyzed the genomic findings from tumors determined to be HER2-positive by standard cellular tests, they found that only half of the samples could be characterized as belonging to the HER2E subtype. The other half were characterized as Luminal subtypes, suggesting that there are at least two types of clinically defined HER2-positive tumors.

In general, the Luminal subtypes had the lowest overall mutation rate, but by contrast, had the largest number of genes observed to be significantly mutated. This suggests that each of the genes identified as significantly mutated in the Luminal subtypes is more likely to be important in fueling cancer progression. The Luminal subtypes are characterized by the specific expression signature of multiple so-called transcription-factor genes, including ESR1, GATA3, FOXA1, XBP1 and cMYB. These genes have a complex interaction, cooperating in an orchestrated series of activations. GATA3 and FOXA1 are frequently mutated, but those mutations are mutually exclusive, meaning that mutations were observed in either GATA3 or FOXA1 but never in both. However, ERS1 and XBP1 are highly expressed but infrequently mutated.

The scale of the TCGA program allows researchers to perform the integrative analyses that detect these complex patterns of genomic changes and interactions. This close inspection of the cancer genome has led to a deeper understanding of the mutations essential for cancer progression, and several new candidates were identified in this study. The authors hope that discovery of these mutations will be a crucial step toward improving breast cancer therapies.

This publication focuses on the discoveries made through a combined analysis involving data from 825 breast cancer cases, which are freely available in the TCGA Data Portal, with several hundred more cases to come.

“The data generated by the TCGA program comprise a vast resource that investigators will be analyzing for years to come.  The resource of information about breast cancer genomes will undoubtedly fuel myriad discoveries by the cancer research community,” said Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D., NHGRI director.


Cartridge World Helps Fight Breast Cancer

Cartridge World North America is working with the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) to raise funds for breast cancer awareness. During September and October, Phoenix customers can donate to the foundation at their local Cartridge World store by “rounding up” their purchase to the next dollar and donating the change. The goal of the campaign is to raise $100,000. Cartridge World will also match the first $25,000 donated.

Each year, more than 200,000 North American women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and in 2012, nearly 39,000 women are expected to die from the disease. In an effort to raise funds to help provide breast cancer services to those in need, Cartridge World, the world’s largest specialty retailer of ink and toner printer cartridges, is launching the “Round Up for Pink Ink” campaign.

With a goal to raise $100,000, the initiative gives Cartridge World customers in Phoenix the opportunity to donate to the National Breast Cancer Foundation by rounding up their in-store sales transaction to the next dollar. Cartridge World will match the first $25,000 donated. In addition, stores will be distributing information about NBCF programs – including early detection and awareness information.

“The impact of the growing number of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer is felt by everyone,” said William Swanson, Chief Executive Officer for Cartridge World North America. “So we are mobilizing hundreds of stores in communities across North America, such as Phoenix to support the foundation’s cause.”

Funds raised from the “Round Up For Pink Ink” campaign will be used to offer early detection services and support programs for breast cancer patients. The NBCF has a mission to save lives through early detection, and partners with 91 medical facilities  to provide free mammograms and diagnostic breast care services to women in need. The foundation also offers multiple educational resources aimed at breast cancer survivors.

One in eight women has or will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. If detected early (in the localized stage), the five-year survival rate exceeds 98 percent. Mammograms are among the best early-detection methods, yet more than 13 million North American women over the age of 40 have never had a mammogram.

For more information or to support the “Round Up For Pink Ink” campaign, visit your local participating Cartridge World store. With 600 stores across the U.S. and Canada, Cartridge World is the world’s largest specialty retailer of ink and toner printer cartridges. To learn how much Cartridge World can help you save on printing costs, use our online savings calculator. For more information about Cartridge World’s programs and eco-friendly products, visit www.CartridgeWorld.com or call your local Cartridge World store.


Sapporo presents the 2012 Breast of Scottsdale

Did you know that each year, more than 4,000 women in Arizona are diagnosed with breast cancer?

And, that each and every single one of them has a place to go for help for free?

It’s true –Arizona Institute for Breast Health (AIBH) is a non-profit organization headquartered in north Scottsdale focused solely on providing women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer a second opinion on treatment options completely free of charge.

“Since our inception in 1998, we’ve sought to provide education, resources and support to newly diagnosed patients with the help of our volunteer team of physicians and medical professionals whose specialties include breast radiology, breast surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, reconstructive surgery, and breast pathology,” said AIBH co-founder Dr. Coral Quiet, who was recently named a finalist for the 2012 ATHENA Award for her to education women on their breast cancer treatment options.

And the organization’s hard – and sometimes costly – work has not gone unnoticed.

This year, in fact, the Scottsdale Airpark community is rolling up its sleeves and stepping up to join AIBH in its mission to help the women of Arizona with a special event – The First-Ever Breast of Scottsdale, which will be the PINKEST party Scottsdale has ever seen!

Sapporo Scottsdale, in partnership with Belvedere Vodka, is pleased to present this special event on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 from 6 p.m. to close. During this event, the community is invited to sip and sample sumptuous pink-themed food and drink menu items while enjoying great music, interactive photography by Clique Photo Station and other surprises. Pink attire is requested, and prizes will be awarded to the most creative, zany and fabulous pink costumes and casual wear alike. A portion of the proceeds from these items, which will be officially available throughout October at Sapporo Scottsdale, will benefit Arizona Institute for Breast Health and its critical mission. All proceeds from this September event will benefit the organization’s Pink Light District. Guests are also able to take advantage of the regularly priced wines, beers and cocktails as well as traditional menu items throughout the evening. The cost to attend is a simple $25 online donation that will be used to sponsor an AIBH “Pink Light,” which will honor a loved one of the guest’s choosing impacted by breast cancer. These lights will illuminate the Marshall Way Bridge in Scottsdale starting October 4 and throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month in honor of all those we love impacted by the disease. To register, please visit aibh.org.

And, for those who want to get involved but are unable to make the party, starting today, members of the Scottsdale Airpark community and beyond are invited to sponsor a pink light in honor or in memory of a loved one touched by cancer as part of the annual Pink Light District to benefit AIBH by visiting www.PinkLightDistrict.org.

Pink Honor Lights may be given to anyone touched by breast cancer in any way, which is all of us:
· In honor of a brave survivor
· In memory of a loved one
· To recognize that special person in your doctor’s office

In addition to the light, each honoree who is gifted a light will receive a Pink Light Tribute Card, and their name will be placed in the 2012 Pink Light Honor Album on the AIBH website. There is no limit to the number of lights one can buy to recognize and honor those in their lives. Sponsorships of multiple lights and other donation opportunities are also available.

“This year, we are extremely honored to have Dr. William Leighton as our 2012 Pink Light District Premier Sponsor,” said AIBH executive director Christine Fenwick, a 17-year breast cancer survivor.

In addition to Dr. Leighton, other valuable corporate sponsors include Yeager North, Iron Medical Systems, Olive & Ivy, Anasazi Internal Medicine, HMA Public Relations, Sapporo Scottsdale, Leighton & Abdo Attorneys at Law, Fiesta Furnishings and Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists, which is led by AIBH co-founder Dr. Quiet. She also serves as the organizations volunteer medical director.

Sapporo Scottsdale Presents the 2012 Breast of Scottsdale, Benefitting Arizona Institute for Breast Health
What:  It is the PINKEST party Scottsdale has ever seen! Sapporo Scottsdale, in partnership with Belvedere Vodka, is to pleased present the first-ever Breast of Scottsdale, benefitting the Arizona Institute for Breast Health. During this special event, the community is invited to sip and sample sumptuous pink-themed food and drink menu items while enjoying great music, interactive photography and other surprises. A portion of the proceeds from these items, which will be officially available throughout October at Sapporo Scottsdale, will benefit Arizona Institute for Breast Health and its critical mission to offer Arizona women diagnosed with breast cancer a second opinion on their treatment options, completely free of charge. All proceeds from this event will benefit the organization’s Pink Light District. All guests are also able to take advantage of the regularly priced wines, beers and cocktails as well as traditional menu items during the event.
When: Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 6 p.m. to Close
Where: Sapporo Scottsdale, 14344 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Attire: Think Pink, of course! Prizes for most fabulous pink ladies and gentlemen will be presented during the fun.
Cost: $25 donation that will be used to sponsor a “Pink Light,” which will honor a loved one of the guest’s choosing impacted by breast cancer. These lights will illuminate the Marshall Way Bridge in Scottsdale starting October 4 and throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month in honor of all those we love impacted by the disease.
Registration: Tickets are limited and available now at www.aibh.org

Prevent cancer

Don’t (Meno)Pause Your Workout: Stay Active To Prevent Cancer

So, jumping on that treadmill or going for a run with the dog can help prevent cancer?

It’s true!

In fact, according to the study published in Cancer, women who were active in their childbearing years and those who began a workout routine in their menopausal years both reported lower rates of breast cancer than those who were sedentary.

And, the news gets better; the regime need not be militant to be effective.

The study

The study included 1,500 women with breast cancer and 1,550 cancer-free women, all the same age. All were interviewed about their lifetime exercise habits and other lifestyle factors, like smoking and drinking.

Those who had exercised for 10 to 19 hours a week in their “reproductive years” were one-third less likely to have breast cancer than women who had been sedentary during that time. Women who started exercising after menopause also had a lower risk. If they averaged nine to 17 hours a week, they were 30 percent less likely to have breast cancer than their inactive peers.

Now, while exercise alone will not prevent any disease, this news means that women of every age should be stepping away from their computers at work as well as getting off the couch and moving on a regular basis.

Getting moving

Some of the best activities for women past childbearing years are low impact in nature. These can include walking with a friend, stretching, physical therapy, swimming or water aerobics, yoga or Tai Chi, gardening, golf or tennis, biking, hiking or lightweight training.

Water aerobics is an especially popular choice in the Arizona summer.

Swimming and water aerobics can help get one’s heart rate up without putting undue stress on the body. And, because the bones and joints are at a minimal risk of sustaining pain or injury when exercising in water, swimming and water aerobics are especially good options for those suffering from arthritis, neck and back pain or obesity.

As an added bonus, water aerobics group fitness classes — and really most group fitness settings — encourage social interaction, which is really important to emotional well-being in all stages of life and produces some added “bonus” benefits including:

  • Renewed determination: A class environment pushes you to complete the entire workout rather than quit as soon as a tiny bit of fatigue kicks in.
  • Social interaction: When you spend a few hours a week with the same people sweating together, you’re bound to form a bond or two.
  • Moral support: As the class grows stronger together, the kudos you reward one another will help to build self-confidence as well.
  • On-going motivation: When you know others are expecting your presence for a water aerobics class or a swim session, you’re less likely to give in to the urge to skip the workout.

A note on safety

Almost as important as the workout you choose are the safety precautions you take in order to continue the routine in the long-term. Some best bets:

  • Don’t overdo it: Too much too soon will cause injury.
  • Choose an activity that can be become part of your life.
  • Make it social: Why walk alone when you can call a neighbor or friend?
  • Be comfortable: Wear loose-fitted clothing and proper shoes.
  • Always warm up before and stretch after a workout to keep muscles loose.
  • Drink water before and after your workout — at least eight glasses a day.

An active lifestyle is always in fashion. And cancer never is. For more information, visit canceraz.com.

komen phoenix race for the cure - pink ribbon

20th Susan G. Komen Phoenix Race For The Cure Registration Opens

This year marks two decades of racing for a cure in Phoenix. And, beginning today, online registration for the 20th Annual Susan G. Komen Phoenix Race for the Cure taking place on Sunday, Oct. 14 in the State Capitol District is now open at www.komenphoenix.org.

This year’s theme “Together, We Promise” is a reminder to the affiliate, its partners and participants that the impact the Race can make is greatest when the community works together.

“In celebration of our 20th year, we as an affiliate are challenging ourselves to make this the best race ever,” said Heather Roberts, Race and Special Events Director. “We’re asking the community to do the same by challenging participants to ask 20 friends to join them and/or to raise an additional $20 in donations for the cause.”

Last year, more than 25,000 participants helped raise nearly $1.8 million towards education, screening and treatment for the medically underserved throughout central and northern Arizona and international research efforts. These efforts are what keep the Komen promise – to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures – alive.

“We’ve got to keep our momentum going,” said Roberts. “The Race for the Cure is the single-biggest fundraiser supporting our mission, which is critical to the uninsured and underinsured women and men throughout central and northern Arizona. Quite simply, any reduction in participation or funds raised will result in a reduction of services provided through our community grants.”

With donations 100 percent committed to the promise, a full 75 percent of all funds raised stay in the community and 25 percent goes to support international research into the causes and cures for breast cancer. Since its inception, Komen Phoenix has granted more than $17 million to support life saving breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs and $5 million to international research efforts.

Key to the Affiliate’s fundraising efforts is sponsor support, which allows Komen’s dollars to go even farther. Komen Phoenix is ever grateful to welcome back Fry’s Food Stores as its VIP Partner for the 2012 Race. This will mark the eighth year in a row that Fry’s has participated as VIP Partner, contributing more than $1.7 million in cash and in-kind contributions through the years.

For more information on the 20th Annual Susan G. Komen Phoenix Race for the Cure and to register both individually or as a team, please visit www.komenphoenix.org.

Dr. Quiet with a breast cancer patient - AZ Business Magazine March/April 2012

Never Quiet On Cancer Care: Center To Focus Breast Cancer

Valley doctor creates first center to focus exclusively on women fighting breast cancer

Dr. Coral Quiet is anything but … quiet, that is. This busy mother of two has been one of the loudest voices in Arizona’s war against breast cancer for more than two decades.

“When I moved to Arizona in the early-1990s, I was horrified to learn that not only were there ZERO breast cancer-only specialists, but that nearly 80 percent of breast cancer patients in Arizona were being treated with mastectomies, a number exponentially higher than the national average,” said Quiet.

A mastectomy, which is the complete surgical removal of the breast and necessary in aggressive cases, is disfiguring to a woman.

Determined to make a difference, Quiet began focusing her care here in the Valley solely on breast cancer treatment, research and education. While touching the lives of women one-at-a- time was making a difference, by the late 1990s she wanted to do more.

So, in 1998, she co-founded the Arizona Institute for Breast Health with Dr. Belinda Barclay-White, which offers women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer a second opinion, free of charge.

Quiet tirelessly works to bring a volunteer team of physicians and medical professionals whose specialties include breast radiology, breast surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, reconstructive surgery, and breast pathology into one room each week to evaluate the best medical and surgical options for the preservation of a woman’s life, body and emotional well-being.

But she didn’t stop there.

In 1999, Quiet attended an international breast cancer conference and had the chance to meet Dr. Robert Kuske, who was presenting early results of his new treatment for breast cancer called Brachytherapy, an accelerated five-day treatment for selected patients with early stage breast cancer that treats a much smaller volume of breast and other tissues and avoids treating the breast skin with radiation.

Never one to bother with “Quiet” time, she not only introduced brachytherapy in Arizona in the early 2000s, but she eventually convinced Kuske to come and practice in Arizona as well.

Over the next several years, she helped to pioneer the Mammosite catheter for FDA studies and pioneered a new device, SAVI, which is able to treat many more women with early stage breast cancer while avoiding high doses of radiation to skin and ribs. She also took time out to act as a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society, lecturing and volunteering for the organization where she could.

As the number of women getting mastectomies declined, and those choosing body and breast-conserving treatments like brachytherapy and SAVI skyrocketed, Dr. Quiet decided to make even more noise.

Determined to provide the same level of customized care to non-breast cancer patients, Quiet and Kuske also developed a secondary practice, Arizona Radiation Oncology Specialists, with the goal of partnering cancer experts statewide with cutting-edge cancer technologies to maximize patient care. With the help of new partners, they have opened three Arizona Radiation Oncology Specialists centers in the past three years, while investing in technologies new to the Southwest.

“I’ll get my quiet time when I’m dead,” said Dr. Quiet. “Today, the fight continues in the war against cancer – a war we will win.”

Arizona Business Magazine March/April 2012

Breast Cancer Survivor's Story

A Scottsdale Breast Cancer Survivor’s Story

Each year, nearly 4,000 women in Arizona are diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Within hours of learning of their diagnoses, all 4,000 women — our mothers, sisters and daughters — will be charged with making life-altering decisions,” says Dr. Coral Quiet of Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists in Scottsdale.

Here is one brave Scottsdale woman’s inspiring story.

Breast Cancer SurvivorIn 2000, Mary Purkiss was a busy mom who co-owned a successful group of call centers with her hubby. Their center allowed them to travel the world and help oversee the careers of more than 500 employees. They even had an on-site “store” in their centers that sold fun incentives and gifts, including high-end jewelry made by Purkiss herself, where employees could spend “funny money” earned for a job well done. Of course, her jewelry sold out on a regular basis.

On the evening of the couple’s annual holiday party for their staff, they were getting ready when Purkiss’ hubby noticed a lump in her breast. He urged her to feel it — it had never been there before.

Somehow, both scared, they made it through the holiday party. When she visited her doctor, she ended up having to have a needle biopsy.

“Still healing from it, the doctor called days later and told my husband ‘Tell your wife she has breast cancer and needs a mastectomy immediately,’ ” Purkiss says.

Terrified, the couple didn’t know where to turn. A successful businesswoman, Purkiss didn’t know enough about cancer to decide if it was the best option for her or the next steps. So, less than three weeks later, she was on the operating table having a double mastectomy.

The healing process — and resulting reconstruction — took two years. In that time, the couple, who had three children — the eldest at 10 years old — at home, decided to sell their successful business and focus on healing and family. Unfortunately, this didn’t go so well; Purkiss ended up needing six surgeries due to issues with the implants from the reconstruction and her father was diagnosed with lung cancer.

As an escape, she turned back to her jewelry hobby as a release. Before long, her hubby launched a website to help sell all of her baubles.

As the business surprisingly took off, Purkiss decided she didn’t need all the money for herself. So, she went in search of a breast cancer charity with which to partner.

“My goal was to donate 15 percent of all sales – not just proceeds – directly back to a breast cancer organization,” Purkiss says. “Believe it or not, I had trouble finding a partner to take my donations for what seemed like years!”

Breast Cancer SurvivorHowever, one day Purkiss was sitting in a doctor’s waiting room and saw something on the white board, a seminar titled “Are Our Daughters at Risk? Talking to Kids About Cancer,” featuring Dr. Quiet, co-founder of Arizona Institute for Breast Health (AIBH).

This struck a chord with Purkiss as her own daughter asked if she would also be getting cancer like mommy as soon as Purkiss was diagnosed. She attended the session with a good friend, who lost her mother to breast cancer, and they were inspired.

“I literally just stood up after the seminar and blurted out to Dr. Quiet how I wanted to give her my money,” laughs Purkiss.

Floored, Dr. Quiet invited Purkiss to attend an AIBH committee meeting. Before long, a partnership was struck. All these years later, Purkiss’ business is still successful and still involved with giving back to AIBH — in more ways than one. Over the years, Purkiss joined the AIBH board and even served as its president.

Her hope is that if any other woman in Arizona gets a cold phone call from a doctor letting her know she has breast cancer, that she dials AIBH immediately.

“It’s a call I wish I would have known to make,” says a still-cancer-free Purkiss, whose breast reconstruction from the mastectomy resulted in six additional surgeries due to complications.

For more information about AIBH or the importance of second opinions when diagnosed with breast cancer, please visit aibh.org.

Breast Cancer - Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2011

Develop Strategies To Detect Breast Cancer Early

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the U.S, making breast cancer the second-most-common cancer among American women, after skin cancer.

Despite those gloomy statistics, there are strategies women can use to detect breast cancer in its earliest stages.

“It is important to detect breast cancer early because survival and recurrence are stage dependent,” says Dr. Michael Sapozink, a radiation oncologist at Southwest Oncology Centers.

Arizonan physicians seem to agree that there are no reliable ways to prevent breast cancer from developing. However, there are several methods doctors recommend for detecting breast cancer early.

One breast cancer detection method doctors recommend is self-examination. When self-examinations are started early in life and performed monthly, they provide a good knowledge base for what healthy breast tissue feels like. That way, if tissue becomes cancerous, women can feel the difference within their breasts and schedule an appointment with their doctor to check it out.

Women should perform self-examinations while they are menstruating, says Sapozink. Women should divide the breast they are examining into four quadrants for examination. While immobilizing the breast with one hand, women should use their other hand to slowly examine the breast, checking for any irregular-feeling tissue.

Mammograms are another method to detect breast cancer. Mammograms are images of the breast taken through X-rays, and can be a way to detect breast cancer much earlier than self-examinations. Generally, doctors recommend women get their first mammogram at age 40, and yearly after age 50.

Women who are deemed “high risk” for developing breast cancer may receive their first mammogram earlier in life, says Sapozink. Although there are no known causes of breast cancer, women who have a strong family history of breast cancer, who have undergone hormone replacement therapy, who had their first menstruation cycle later in life, or who are obese, may be at a higher risk for developing breast cancer.

Women who have had a strong family history of breast cancer may also opt to be screened for genetic mutations that are linked to breast cancer.

“Genetic mutations are responsible for a very small percentage of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, but up to 85 percent of patients with (the genetic mutation) will develop breast cancer,” says Dr. Linda Benaderet, an oncologist at Arizona Oncology.

If patients are found to have a genetic mutation linked to breast cancer, they can then speak with their doctors to set up a plan that outlines how often they should receive a mammogram.

Depending on the density of a woman’s breast, as well as what a mammogram is able to show, a patient may get an ultrasound or MRI as well as a mammogram to inspect the breasts more closely before a biopsy is taken to test suspicious tissue.

If a patient is diagnosed with breast cancer, the next step would be to visit an oncologist to discuss treatment options, says Benaderet. Treatment options include chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, breast surgery or a mastectomy. Women should discuss their options with their doctor to find out which treatment, or combination of treatments, is best for them.

For more information about detecting breast cancer, visit arizonaoncology.com or swoncologycenters.com.

Scottsdale Living Magazine Fall 2011

HCL Awards 2012 - Arizona Institute for Breast Health

HCL Awards 2012: Institution Or Educational Program, Arizona Institute For Breast Health

Institution Or Educational Program

Arizona Institute For Breast Health

Arizona Institute for Breast Health was formed in 1998 by local breast cancer experts Drs. Coral Quiet and Belinda Barclay-White. Their focus was to offer women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer a second opinion, completely free of charge. There is no other non-profit organization in the country doing this. AIBH has created an unparalleled synergy between medical professionals, patients and their families to provide information, education, resources, hope and peace of mind.

Being diagnosed with breast cancer is overwhelming, and the realization is difficult to comprehend. But knowledge is power. AIBH seeks to inform and educate so that patients are empowered in their battle against breast cancer. To date, AIBH has worked with thousands of women and their families – and not only to provide second opinions. In fact, they also provide free support, resources, fitness and nutrition advice and more.
More specifically, when Dr. Quiet came to Arizona, 80 percent of women with breast cancer were treated with mastectomy. Now that women have the knowledge to know their options, that number is only 40 percent. Breast conservation has skyrocketed since the organization began educating the community and women diagnosed about all of their options.



United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona

HCL Awards 2012 - United Cerebral PalsySince 1952, UCP has served and educated individuals and families faced with various disabilities, including cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome and autism. Based in Arizona, UCP team members make efforts to directly reach out – despite a family’s location – with the purpose of addressing each person’s needs. UCP offers an innovative early learning center intended to blend children with and without disabilities in order for them to teach and learn from each other in an educational setting. In 2011, UCP united with the Ballet Academy of Arizona to produce a unique ballet performance predominantly cast with children with disabilities.



Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Injury Prevention Center’s Educational Mobile App

HCL Awards 2012 - Phoenix Children's HospitalIn 2010, 71 percent of child deaths caused by car crashes involved a child that was improperly or not restrained. Phoenix Children’s Hospital generated another innovative step to merge the importance of healthcare with the convenience of technology. The “Car Seat Helper” application for mobile phones provides recipients with assistance in selecting the safest car seat for a child. The app was launched in October 2011 to improve child passenger safety and was named “app of the month” by ANSCA Mobile. With recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Car Seat Helper” can help reduce the number of child deaths and injuries in Arizona.


HCL Awards 2012 Winners & Finalists

AZ Business Magazine March/April 2012

Stella Bella, Kristen Provvidenti's Makeup Line

Stella Bella: Battling Cancer, One Eye Shadow At A Time

Kristin Provvidenti has come a long way since 2005. That year, her mother passed away from liver cancer. Just a few years later, Provvidenti began the battle with cancer herself.Stella Bella's Kristen Provvidenti

While going through chemotherapy and radiation for breast cancer, Provvidenti experienced a common side effect from the treatments – extremely sensitive skin. The sensitive skin made it difficult for her wear makeup, due to the chemicals in the products.

Provvidenti decided to put her experience as a paramedical makeup artist to work. For seven months during her chemotherapy, she kept herself busy by creating a makeup line that people with sensitive skin could use. Provvidenti named the line Stella Bella, after her late mother.

Provvidenti found that bismuth, an irritant to the skin, was an ingredient in many “all-natural” mineral makeups.  So when she created Stella Bella, Provvidenti developed a truly natural, bismuth-free makeup line. Stella Bella is a “cleaner” product to apply to the skin, according to Provvidenti.

Provvidenti sells her Stella Bella products both online and at Salon Boutique, where she offers “custom blending sessions.” These are personal sessions where either Provvidenti or tone of her employees finds a matching shade of makeup for a customer’s skin.

Stella BellaStella Bella is currently marketed through email, Living Social, and customer referrals. It is easy to see why customer referrals work for Provvidenti because she places an emphasis on a customer’s experience. Provvidenti understands a woman’s need for “normalcy” when undergoing cancer treatment.

“Anyone who is touched by the makeup… that’s my favorite thing,” she said. “When I can take someone and make them feel good about themselves, that’s the best part.”

A major part of being a woman is feeling confident in one’s own skin, Provvidenti said. Cancer can take away much of that confidence – including the ability to wear makeup.

“The disease takes over so much of your life. You no longer have a voice. Being able to wear makeup and feel confident gives you some control back,” Provvidenti said of the importance of Stella Bella.

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Stella Bella has become involved in the Pink Out, where a high school football team in the Valley wears pink in order to raise money for the cause. Stella Bella will also be giving away custom blending sessions to two cancer survivors.

Free of cancer for two years, Provvidenti is aware that cancer made a huge impact on life. “You don’t ever come out (of treatment) the same person,” said Provvidenti. “You’ve changed forever.”

More Stella Bella photos:

 Stella Bella Logo, Mixing Powder Stella Bella Mixing Jar Lipstick & Mixing
 Lipstick & Mixing Tools Applying Makeup at Stella Bella

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If You Go: Stella Bella

9689 N. Hayden Rd., #46
Scottsdale, AZ 85253
(623) 806-9705



Routine screening tests can be one of the most important personal health strategies

A Personal Health Plan Includes Screening Tests

Everyone should develop a lifetime plan to stay healthy. A healthy lifestyle, an understanding of personal health risks and the appropriate use of screening tests are all important parts of a plan.

Routine screening tests can be one of the most important personal health strategies.  Screening tests are designed to detect disease or risk factors for disease before symptoms appear. Detecting disease early can lead to more effective treatment. Identifying risk factors for disease may reduce the chance of developing certain diseases or prevent them completely.

Much research on the development and effectiveness of various screening tests has been done in recent years. Although effective screening tests are widely available, many people do not take advantage of them. A screening test is not necessarily complicated or expensive. For example, a simple blood pressure check can detect elevated blood pressure or hypertension, which is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Discovery can lead to early treatment and prevention of these adverse outcomes.

Common screening tests in addition to blood pressure measurement include checking your cholesterol value and blood sugar (diabetes). Cancer screening tests are available for colon cancer (starting at age 50), breast cancer (mammograms, annually starting at 40), cervical cancer (Pap test) and prostate cancer (blood PSA test starting at 50). Personal risk factors can change the age at which testing begins and the frequency with which the tests are performed.

There are also other important strategies to stay healthy and prevent disease. In addition to specific screening tests, reviewing your family history and lifestyle can help identify risk factors that may increase or decrease your chances of developing specific conditions. The best approach is to discuss a lifetime preventive strategy with your personal physician. Completing one of the many available health risk appraisal tools on the Internet can help make you more informed about your personal risks and increase the focus and productivity of your discussions with your physician.

Phoenix Breast Cancer Awareness Events

Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Events In Phoenix

October has not always been associated with the color pink. It was only after it was deemed National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 1985 that the pink ribbon became the well-known symbol of breast cancer awareness.

Since then, organizations such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation have been raising money in hopes of finding a cure for breast cancer.

During October, several businesses host fundraising events across the country in support of breast cancer research. This year, Arizonans can find many opportunities to take part in the fight against breast cancer.

The 18th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure will be held Sunday in the vicinity of the State Capitol near Downtown Phoenix. The event raises funds and awareness while honoring survivors and those who lost their battle with the disease.

This year’s race will consist of the option to choose between a 1 mile Run/Walk, a 5K Run for Breast Cancer Survivors or a 5K Walk or Sleep In for the Cure.

Also on Sunday, Suddenly Slimmer Day Spa and Wellness Center in Phoenix is offering a 25 percent discount on all spa services for their Breast Awareness Spa and Wellness Day.

In addition, those currently undergoing cancer treatments can get complementary “pink” mini-facials and 15-minute chair massages. Cancer patients and survivors can also get their makeup done, receive brow makeovers and participate in a laughing meditation session at no charge.

Pick up a cupcake at Wildflower Bread Company between now and Monday and $1 of the purchase will go to support the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer funds. Since 2005, Wildflower has raised more than $26,000 with its Cupcakes for the Cure program.

Head over to Gallery 225 in Gilbert on Friday Oct. 15 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. where more than 36 donated mixed-media art pieces will be auctioned at the Saving the Tatas Fundraiser.

The night will consist of refreshments, a silent auction and a raffle with a variety of prizes including round-trip airline vouchers. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit the Susan G. Komen Passionately Pink for the Cure Foundation.

Later on in the month, join Remedy Pilates and Massage Studio for its Pilates in the Park event to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Pilates for Pink will be held Sunday Oct. 24 at 10 a.m. at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale.

For every $5 donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, class participants will be entered into the “Remedy Raffle” which will include prizes such as massages, acupuncture sessions, nutrition consultations, and private Pilates sessions. Each participant will also receive $20 worth of coupons good toward a massage at Remedy.

Following the class, lunch will be provided along with instruction from Dr. Mary King, who will explain self-breast exams and how acupuncture increases prevention.