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Dear Friends,



Happy New Year! 2014 is off to a great start - recent improvements in health care related to breast cancer have been afforded by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act/also known as ObamaCare with a mandate that most health plans, including Medicare, offer mammography screenings every 1-2 years for women over 40; genetic test counseling (BRCA) for women at higher risk for breast cancer; and breast cancer chemoprevention counseling for women at higher risk. In addition, on January 1, 2014, it became illegal for insurers to discriminate against anyone with a pre-existing condition, such as breast cancer. 


With these national legislative advances, VBCF will be hosting our annual State Advocacy Day on Thursday, February 20th. Please register to join our Team Leaders to receive a briefing on VBCF's priorities in 2014 - support for Medicaid Expansion in Virginia and for the state's Every Woman's Life program - and to meet your elected officials, connect with advocates who share your passion, and show your support through numbers. We partner with other organization volunteers annually including American Cancer Society, Komen Central Virginia, Sisters Network, and Nueva Vida to support improved healthcare legislation for Virginians.


If you'd like to take your own advocacy skills to the next level, consider applying for VBCF's Karin Decker Noss Scholarship. This $5,000 scholarship program is available to the awardee for a 24-month period to attend nationally recognized breast cancer training and conferences and to bring this knowledge back to Virginia through VBCF's breast cancer advocacy program. Applications will be available by February 28th, with a deadline of March 31st.


Wishing you a healthy winter season, 


Katy Sawyer's Signature 

Katy Sawyer

Executive Director


Health issue 2014: Local docs on the controversy over breast cancer screening


Just over four years ago, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force-an independent, federally funded panel of physicians-rocked the cancer community when it changed its breast cancer screening guidelines, recommending that women get mammograms every other year starting at age 50, instead of annually starting at age 40.


The decision, based on a growing understanding of mammography's flaws as a detection method, ignited a firestorm of debate over costs and benefits in medicine. Both UVA Medical Center and Martha Jefferson Hospital have stuck with the old guidelines, but doctors who are fighting breast cancer from different corners-radiology, surgery-say they aren't ignoring the complexities inherent in seeking and treating the disease.



'One-Stop' Radiation Treatment Might Offer Breast Cancer Care Alternative

Some women with early breast cancer might benefit from a "one-and-done" treatment, in which they receive a single dose of targeted radiation therapy during the surgery that removes their tumor.


A pair of new studies found that this procedure works about as well as current protocols that require six weeks of daily radiation therapy following surgery.



Tattooing nipples and designs on breast cancer survivors



Tattoo artist Amy Black is preparing to create another work of art on skin.


On a Saturday morning in Carytown, her client is there inside the Trademark Tattoo studio for more than just some ink. While Amy might be voted number one tattoo artist in a city considered the third most tattooed in the nation (per capita), her remarkable gift is body art that heals the soul.


Amy offers realistic reconstructive nipple and areola tattooing and repigmentation to women, post-mastectomy.



New Presurgery Combination Therapy May Improve Outcomes for Women With Triple-negative Breast Cancer


The I-SPY 2 trial, an innovative, multidrug, phase II breast cancer trial, has yielded positive results with the first drug to complete testing in the trial. Adding the chemotherapy carboplatin and the molecularly targeted drug veliparib to standard presurgery
chemotherapy improved outcomes for women with triple-negative breast cancer, according to results from the I-SPY 2 trial presented here at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium,
held Dec. 10-14. 




Click here for more news from the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

BRCA1: My Mother, My Daughter, and Me
WRIC 8News Reporter Nate Eaton shares the story of his mother - who is BRCA1 positive. He gets the test to see if he has the mutated gene and shares how this could impact his baby daughter.


[ Video: Part One[Video: Part Two