Great Stuff wins "Best of Delaware" and Looks to Fall Fashions

The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition is very pleased to announce that its resale shop, Great Stuff Savvy Resale, was named “Best Resale Shop” by Delaware Today Magazine in their annual “Best of Delaware” issue.  The resale shop opened in October of 2010 and is located in North Wilmington in the Talleyville Center on Concord Pike.
“We are so thrilled to receive this honor,” said general manager Dale Maahs.  “We’ve only been in business for just shy of two years and the support that we have received is phenomenal.”  Maahs is joined by her assistant manager Trish Tompkins and over 50 volunteers who work in the shop.  “The volunteers at Great Stuff are the best.  They are such an important piece of the success of the shop.  They provide excellent customer service and help with tasks like window displays, tagging items, merchandising, and more. They are such a strong team.”  Many Great Stuff volunteers are breast cancer survivors themselves and often lend a compassionate ear to those somehow impacted by breast cancer.
Some Great Stuff volunteers at Best of Delaware Party
A few members of the Great Stuff team attended the Best of Delaware Party on July 26 at Dover Downs where they joined some of the best businesses in Delaware.  This event provided Great Stuff with an opportunity to introduce new people to the resale shop and let them know how they can help.  “We are always looking for donations of gently used upscale clothing, handbags and accessories, footwear, home accents and furniture,” said Maahs.  Click here for a donation flyer with more information on how to donate to Great Stuff.
By donating items or shopping at Great Stuff, you can make an impact on the local fight against breast cancer.  “All of our net proceeds benefit DBCC’s local programs and services.  Everything stays right here in the community.”  Last year, Great Stuff presented DBCC with a check for $40,000 in its first year of business.
Some ladies enjoying a Sip & Shop Event at Great Stuff
The resale shop has also started a fun private shopping experience, Sip & Shops.  Great Stuff hosts these events either after regular shop hours or during the lunch hour.  A host will invite her friends to attend a fun private shopping event. Great Stuff provides some light fare and refreshments and volunteers who can help attendees put together great outfits.  Recently, Great Stuff held Sip & Shop events with the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce, the Mamie Warren Senior Center and Chase Manhattan Bank.  The staff at Great Stuff will help you to plan your private, exclusive shopping event.  If you are interested in hosting a Sip & Shop, click here for more information.
Great Stuff is now transitioning from summer to fall clothing and the shop is now accepting fall donations.  For more information about Great Stuff, please visit  

Ask the Doctor: Survivorship Care

Dr. Sawhney
Written by Rishi Sawhney, MD, Medical Director of the Bayhealth Cancer Institute and a member of Bayhealth Hematology/Oncology Associates.
Who is a breast cancer survivor? 
Any woman or man diagnosed with breast cancer.  The issue of cancer survivorship encompasses physical, psychosocial and spiritual aspects at all stages of the cancer journey.  You are a survivor from the day you are diagnosed. 
Why is survivorship care important?
According to the American Cancer Society, there are now more than 13.7 million cancer survivors in the United States. Of these, there are nearly 3 million breast cancer survivors, comprising 41% of all female cancer survivors. Current predictions estimate there will be 18 million Americans living with a history of cancer by the year 2022.

As many survivors have learned, completion of treatment does not necessarily mark the end of the cancer experience.  Breast cancer survivors are at an increased risk of certain physical, mental, and emotional side effects, many of which can be prevented or drastically reduced with early detection and intervention.  Furthermore, survivors may be at risk for future relapse of their original breast cancer, and will benefit from regular surveillance by their medical team.
What kinds of late side effects may a breast cancer survivor be at risk for?
Recent studies have indicated that some therapies are linked to increased risks of specific long-term side effects for which a patient should be monitored:

    Heart complications. For those having received radiation therapy to the chest, specific chemotherapeutic or targeted agents (i.e. Adriamycin, Herceptin).
    Learning or memory difficulties. High doses of radiation to the brain or treatment with some chemotherapy agents can lead to learning, memory, or attention difficulties. This issue is currently under extensive study.
    Second cancers. Cancer survivors are at an increased risk of developing a second cancer, the type of which largely depends on the specific therapy received for the initial cancer. Some chemotherapy agents may slightly increase the risk of developing hematologic (blood) cancers such as leukemia.
    Bone, joint, and muscle issues.Osteoporosis (reduced bone density) is more common among breast cancer survivors than in the general population. Prior or continued treatment with aromatase inhibitors, steroids, or chemotherapy and low levels of activity—all may contribute to an increased risk of developing osteoporosis.
    Hormonal changes.Chemotherapy can damage the ovaries in premenopausal women resulting in early menopause, osteoporosis, hot flashes, infertility, and sexual dysfunction. Treatment with aromatase inhibitors or selective estrogen modulators such as tamoxifen can also cause mood swings, weight fluctuations and affect energy levels.
    Fatigue. Approximately one-third of cancer survivors report fatigue. The underlying cause of fatigue among these patients is often not known, although lifestyle management and nutritional support can help combat fatigue.
    Effects of surgery. Women who have undergone a lumpectomy  or mastectomy may experience emotions related to femininity or sexuality due to the disfigurement caused by the surgery, whereas women who have had extensive lymph node removal in one area (lymphadenectomy) may experience significant swelling or pain of the limb to which the removed lymph nodes provided drainage.
Fortunately, with monitoring and intervention (the earlier the better), many of these side effects, whether short-term or long-term, can be effectively dealt with so that survivors can live their lives without these issues. In addition, as research and treatment continue to improve, radiation therapy is becoming more precise, so the cancer cells are targeted while sparing healthy surrounding tissue from its effects. Chemotherapy agents that are associated with increased risk of long-term side effects or second cancers are also being used less and substituted with other agents that are just as effective and not associated with such side effects.
How should I be monitored for potential recurrence of my cancer?
National practice guidelines have been issued by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).  Routine followup care should include:
  • Regular visits with your doctor every 3-6 months for the first three years, and then every 6-12 months thereafter
  • Annual mammography
  • Breast self examination
  • Regular gynecologic examination
  • Genetic counseling evaluation (if applicable based upon personal or family history)
  • Reporting any new relevant symptoms to your doctor (new breast lump, rash, nipple discharge, bone pain, chest pain, breathing problems, persistent headaches, etc.)
Note, the following tests are NOT currently recommended on a routine basis for surveillance: bone scan, CT scan, PET scan, breast MRI, or laboratory studies including tumor markers.
Exercising is an important part of care

What else can I do to help in my care?

Volunteer Spotlight: June Burton

June with Today show co-host Hoda Kotb
When June Burton of Rehoboth Beach was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 years ago, she thought she knew what to expect.  “I had just retired from being an oncology nurse for 20 years,” said June.  “I had spent a lot of time working with inpatient oncology administering chemotherapy so I thought I would be more prepared for my treatment, but I wasn’t.”

Now on the other side of care, June received her treatment at Beebe Hospital‘s Tunnell Cancer Center.  During her treatment she got in touch with Connie Holdridge, DBCC’s Program Manager for Education & Survivorship in Sussex County.  “Connie couldn’t do enough for me,” June said.  “She was such a great help to me.”  Connie matched June with a DBCC Peer Mentor, a breast cancer survivor who volunteers to mentor a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient.  “My mentor was very helpful.  When I was first going through treatment we talked on the phone and then when I started feeling better we’d meet for lunch.  I had the support of my family but it was so great to have someone who had already been through it to talk to.”

When June finished her treatment she was ready to help and give back.  “I told Connie that I’d love to volunteer and help with whatever she needed since she was such a great help to me.” June now volunteers at the DE-feet Breast Cancer 5K Run/Walk and other DBCC events.  Just a few weeks ago, she volunteered at the 20th Anniversary Event at The Coffee Mill with special guest Hoda Kotb.  The event was a fundraiser for DBCC.  “It’s so great that the money raised in Sussex County stays right here.  Some funds help uninsured women and that really is great.”

“I’ve found that I really enjoy volunteering,” June said. “I know just how important volunteers and caregivers can be.”  June plans to become a Peer Mentor when the next program is offered.  “I want to help in whatever way I can.”  June also serves on the Executive Board of her condo association and enjoys visits from her family in Philadelphia.

If you are interested in volunteering with DBCC, click here for more information. Volunteer trainings are held quarterly throughout the state.

Married with Breast Cancer: Kent County Couple Both Battle Breast Cancer

A man being diagnosed with breast cancer is a rare occurrence but it’s even rarer for a married couple to both become breast cancer survivors. Read on about Mike and Sarah’s story.

In the summer of 2003, Mike Smith lifted his wife Sarah after she caught the biggest fish on a fishing trip in Ocean City, MD.  “When I picked her up, I felt this sharp pain in my right nipple.  I already had a doctor’s appointment scheduled so I went in and told him about it.” The doctor first thought it was only a cyst but a biopsy proved that it was cancerous.  Mike was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) Stage 2 and joined the less than 1% of breast cancer cases which are found in men.
After having a mastectomy, Mike talked with a male friend who was also a breast cancer survivor and his friend suggested he talk to the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.  He visited DBCC’s Dover office and spoke with Lois Wilkinson, DBCC Program Manager of Survivorship & Education.  “She was shocked that I had breast cancer but she was so helpful and was behind me the whole way,” Mike said.
After he completed his treatment, Mike told Lois that he would like to volunteer with DBCC and spread the message about breast cancer in men.  He began speaking at churches and other events.  “When I spoke at church, the wives would always thank me for speaking up and occasionally men would come forward discreetly and ask questions.”
Mike then decided to participate in DBCC’s Peer Mentor Support Program and has mentored newly diagnosed male breast cancer patients.  “I felt that men diagnosed with breast cancer really needed to talk to someone of their same sex.”  Mike has mentored two men through their breast cancer journeys.  “A lot of men don’t want to talk about it and would just die with it,” he said.  “That’s why I felt I needed to be vocal about being a male breast cancer survivor.”
Mike & Sarah at a Nurture with Nature event last month
About 8 years after Mike’s diagnosis, his wife Sarah got the news she never thought she would—she had breast cancer.  “We both were just shocked. We thought ‘What are the odds?’” After a routine mammogram, a radiologist spotted a shadow and surgeon was able to locate a small lump.  A biopsy confirmed that Sarah had Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) Stage 0.  “We were fortunate that it was caught early and her lump was removed,” Mike said.
Mike then mentored Sarah through her breast cancer journey.  “She was there for me when I went through it and I was able to help her too,” he said.  Sarah has been volunteering with DBCC alongside Mike since his diagnosis 9 years ago.  Sarah also works to educate other Thai women in her community about breast cancer prevention and early detection.
Sarah and Mike have daughters and grandchildren that they frequently educate as well.  “It’s part of our dinner table conversation,” Mike said.  “We always ask if they have had their check-up and mammogram.” Mike and Sarah are fortunate to have had each other and the support of DBCC through their breast cancer journeys.  “We’ve been through it,” Mike says.  “And DBCC has been there through it with us. We are very appreciative of that.”

State Mobile Mammography Van Screens 832 Women in 2011-2012

The Women’s Mobile Health Screening (WMHS) Van, also known as the State’s mobile mammography van, had another successful year performing screening mammograms in Delaware.  From July 2011 to June 2012, the van provided screening mammograms for 832 women.  
Of those women, 30% were Hispanic, 29% were Black, 37% were White, and 4% were of other ethnic groups.  Noticeable this year was an increase in Hispanic women screened on the van.  “We attribute this increase to our bilingual screening navigator.  She schedules appointments, travels on the van to translate, and follows up with clients,” said Melany Sammons, WMHS Program Director.  “She provides a great full cycle of care and makes Hispanic women feel comfortable by answering questions and explaining how the process works.”  The van was also able to screen at DBCC’s Second Annual VIDA! Latina Breast Health Forum in Georgetown this past March.
The WMHS Van also had an increase in the number of women who never or rarely got a mammogram. Of the 832 women that were screened, 16% had never had a mammogram and 37% had rarely had a mammogram (meaning they hadn’t had one in at least 2 years).  47% of women screening on the van had reported annual mammograms.  “It’s important to reach those women who have never or rarely have a mammogram to make sure they receive the care they need,” said Laura Nadel, WMHS Program Manager.
Between July 2011 and June 2012, the WMHS Van screened at over 40 locations throughout Delaware.  Screenings take place at churches, senior centers, community centers, libraries and other locations.  “We have some screening partners that we visit each month,” said Sammons.  The van visits Westside Family Healthcare’s five sites throughout the year.  “The van is able to fill a gap in health services at Westside since they don’t perform mammograms at their locations.  By bringing the van to the site, clients feel comfortable because the van is coming to them instead of sending them to a hospital or medical office where barriers like transportation or language could be present.”
The WMHS recognizes that there are some barriers that prevent some women from making sure they get their annual mammogram.  “Shift workers are important to target because they generally work odd hours and may not be able to get to a facility,” said Sammons.  It is for that reason that the van traveled to Perdue’s Milford and Georgetown sites this year.  “We made sure to hold one screening at night to help reach those women.”
The WMHS Van travels throughout state and visits churches, community centers, libraries and other locations.  If you are interested in having the van visit a site near you or having your mammogram on the van, please call toll-free 1-888-672-WMHS.  The WMHS staff can answer questions about eligibility for the Screening for Life program, insurance coverage and self-pay options.