Senator Stephanie Hansen Tours Women’s Mobile Health Screening Van

On Monday, July 24th, Senator Stephanie Hansen was eager to tour the Women’s Mobile Health Screening Van while it was at Westside Family Healthcare in Bear.

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“It’s absolutely critical that we increase awareness and access to preventive care like mammograms, both from an individual quality-of-life perspective and to help control our health care costs as a society,” said Sen. Stephanie Hansen, D-Middletown. “Improving access is a real challenge in many communities across the state, some of which are miles from the nearest doctor’s office. Making cancer screenings a mobile service is a huge step in bridging that gap, and I applaud the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition for going above and beyond.”

Frances, Sen. Hansen, and Eileen

The Division of Public Health’s Women’s Mobile Health Screening Van is a mobile screening van that goes to local communities in Delaware to provide a number of services including:

  • Breast Screenings
  • Cervical Screenings
  • Blood Pressure Screenings
  • Cholesterol testing
  • Glucose testing
  • Information on healthy lifestyles
  • Translation services for Spanish and Haitian-Creole

It screens underserved women throughout the state and completed 1,005 mammogram screenings in the last fiscal year with 85% of these women considered low income.

Women ages 40 and older who are interested in scheduling a breast or cervical screening should contact the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition at 1-888-672-9647 to schedule their appointment. Click here to view the screening schedule on the Coalition’s website. Women who are uninsured or underinsured may be eligible for a free screening through the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) Screening for Life program.

 

Thank YOU for supporting the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition through another PINKtober!

Thank YOU for supporting the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition during Breast Cancer Awareness Month! It has been a wild October spreading breast cancer awareness in our community. We are grateful to have so many generous partners in our neighborhoods across the state, helping us share our resources with folks who need them and helping raise funds to support our local programs and services of support, education, and survivorship. We have to take a moment to thank all of our partners, volunteers, sponsors, and donors!2016-partnership-collage

 

We want to especially give a shout out (in no particular order) to:

Pirees Piri Piri Grill in Pike Creek

Kings Tire and Lube

McDonald’s

Third Base Liquors

Sea Tows Boats

Duck Donuts in Newark

One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning

Gatehouse Media

Bayhealth Medical Center

Sante Fe, Wilmington Location

Rawlins Orthodontics

Chevy of Dover

Milford Police

The Melting Pot

Anytime Fitness Bear

Brandywine Lighting Gallery

Artist Designs

TJ’s Repairs in Milford

The News Journal/Delaware Online

Ed Oliver golf club

Dos Locos in Rehoboth

First State BMX

Plantation Lakes

First State Chevy Olds

NASCAR Dover

Eagle 977/Delmarva Broadcasting

Atticus Bow Ties

Capitol School District

Continental Jewelers

Dewey Goes Pink 5K organizers the Starboard and the Body Shop and Races2Run

Tanger Outlets

Milford High School

Ronny’s Garden World

Oxford Feed and Lumber

Deer Park & Races2Run

Lovering Studio

Harrington Raceway

Lula Roe Dover Vendors

Beer Pong Organizers Alex and Thomasine Bianchi & Christopher Burgos

UD Hockey (Men’s D1, D2, D3 and Women’s) organized by Katrina Anderson

Tocara Jewelry & Sullivan’s Steakhouse

Farmers Insurance

Lake Forest East Elementary

Premier Cosmetics and Dermatology

Currie Hair Skin Nails

Capriotti’s

Georgetown Car Show Organizers Levin Clark and Georgetown Mayor Bill West

Monster Mile Sponsors: Edgewell Personal Care, Highmark Delaware, Yencer Builders, Willis Chevrolet & Buick, Bayhealth, Chevrolet of Dover, Dover Colonial Rotary Club, Mid-Delaware Imaging, Price Acura and Price Honda, Ronny’s Garden World, and Lighthouse Construction

…and so many more. Too many to name. If we inadvertently left you off this list, so sorry, just let us know and we’ll add you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Although October is over, the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition is still here to serve our community. If you or someone you know is diagnosed with breast cancer, call 1-866-312-3222.

 

Hispanic Heritage Month Featuring: Maria Lopez

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition is honoring Hispanic Survivor: Maria Lopez!

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Maria Lopez was born in Chiapas, Mexico. Married with 3 children, she has been living in Millsboro, DE for the past 14 years. She was always up to date with her annual mammogram, but for 2 years she felt a lump that was never detected. After insisting to her doctor that she felt a lump on her left breast and asking for additional screenings, Maria was diagnosed with an aggressive type of breast cancer in 2014 . It was stage 4.

At the beginning of her breast cancer journey, Maria had lot of side effects. She felt so much pain and weakness. She went through 17 sessions of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Nowadays, Maria continues to visit her doctor every 6 months. She is a homemaker and lives with her husband and daughter Priscilla (pictured above).

During Hispanic Heritage Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Maria encourages other Hispanic women to screen early, have faith in God, and keep fighting for those surviving the disease. She wants women to find out about their family history for breast cancer by filling out the DBCC’s Family Health History Tree. Maria’s aunt had stomach cancer so she knows some cancer runs in her family.

Maria also offers encouragement to other women who are beginning their breast cancer journey. She says, “You are going to fight this, and you will come out victorious!” She also thanks God and her oncology doctor for her recovery and surviving breast cancer. In her own words she said, “Christ gives me strength.”

 

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Maria Lopez nació en Chiapas, México. Casada y con tres hijos, Maria ha vivido en Millsboro, DE por los últimos 14 años. Como siempre, ella estaba al tanto con su mamografía anual pero por dos años sentía una bolita que nunca fue detectada durante su revisión. Maria fue diagnosticada con un tipo de cáncer de seno muy agresivo en el 2014 después de insistirle a su doctor en someterse a pruebas adicionales ya que sentía un bulto en su seno izquierdo.

Durante el inicio de su tratamiento, Maria lo describe como doloroso, con muchos síntomas y con una debilidad muy fuerte. Se sometió a 17 sesiones de quimioterapia y radioterapia cuando el cáncer fue detectado en etapa 4. Actualmente, Maria continua visitando a su doctor cada 6 meses, es ama de casa y vive con su esposo y su hija Priscila (en la foto).

Durante el mes de la Herencia Hispana y el mes de la Sensibilización del Cáncer de Seno, Maria invita a otras mujeres Hispanas que se sometan a pruebas de cáncer a tiempo, tengan fe en Dios y que sigan luchando las personas que han sido diagnosticadas con esta enfermedad. La tía de Maria padeció de cáncer en el estómago y quiere que otras mujeres también usen el Árbol Genealógico de la Salud para así aprender sobre las enfermedades que corren en la familia.

Así mismo, Maria también ofrece apoyo a esas mujeres pasando por la misma situación. Les dice “¡Van a vencer la enfermedad, van a salir victoriosas!”. También agradece a Dios y su oncólogo por su mejoramiento y recuperación en sobrevivir esta enfermedad, en sus propias palabras ella dice “Cristo me fortalece”.

New Women’s Mobile Health Screening Van Unveiled

The new Women’s Mobile Health Screening (WMHS) Van was unveiled on Tuesday, June 21 at Legislative Hall in Dover. The program included tours of the medical unit, remarks from program facilitators and elected officials, and a toast to the success of the program. Guests included Governor Jack Markell, Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Rita Landgraf, Division of Public Health (DPH) Director Dr. Karyl Rattay, staff from the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition (DBCC) and Women’s Mobile Health Screening (WMHS) program, DPH staff, and members of the Delaware General Assembly, including Senator Patricia Blevins, Senator Hall-Long, and former Senator Liane Sorenson.

 

The van is a collaborative effort between the State of Delaware and Women’s Mobile Health Screening (WMHS), a subsidiary of DBCC. The van is owned by DPH and the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition holds the operating contract. In March, the WMHS program received a new, state-of-the-art van that combines digital imaging equipment and health professionals from Beebe Medical Center.  The Delaware General Assembly allocated funding for the van in June 2015.

 

“When we catch cancers early, we protect Delawareans from early death, disfigurements, complex health problems – and devastated families,” said Governor Jack Markell.  “The work the coalition has done over 25 years has saved lives and preserved families.”

 

“Screening is saving lives in Delaware,” Secretary Landgraf said.  “Because of organizations like the Delaware Breast Cancer and Screening for Life within the Department of Health and Social Services, it is highly likely that improving the early detection of breast cancer contributed to Delaware’s progress in breast cancer mortality.”

 

Delaware’s all-site cancer mortality rate has dropped, from second-highest in the country in the early 1990s to 14th for the period of 2007-2011.  Delaware’s breast cancer mortality rate currently ranks 17th-highest in the country.

 

Starting in July, in addition to mammography screenings, the van will offer cervical cancer screenings and blood pressure screenings, as well healthy lifestyle education.  A prescription from a medical professional is no longer necessary to be screened.

 

“We will also talk to women on the van about risk factors for cancer (and other chronic diseases),” Dr. Rattay said.  “Women will receive glucose screening (for diabetes), tobacco cessation referrals, Body Mass Index screening, and physical activity and nutrition education.”

 

“I am pleased to finally see the new and improved women’s mobile health screening van on the road and bringing lifesaving mammography screenings to some of our most vulnerable populations,” says Senator Patricia Blevins. “The van serves nearly 800 women a year who might not otherwise have access to mammography screenings and with the new addition of a room for examinations, it will bring even more value to the women in Delaware who need it most.”

 

Through the WMHS program, more than 8,500 women were screened since July of 2004. Of those, more than 4,200 were through the Screening for Life (SFL) program.  Over the past 15 years, SFL provided 25,000 uninsured or under-insured women in Delaware with more than 48,000 breast cancer screenings.

 

Women who qualify for the SFL program may receive free mammography services as well as cervical, screenings. WMHS also accepts Medicaid, Medicare, most health insurance, and self-pay clients. Patients should check with insurance providers to find out if they are covered. WMHS staff helps women apply for SFL or find another program that can help cover the cost of screening. Patients also can arrange for transportation or an interpreter through WMHS.

 

“By having a background in both healthcare and nursing and co-chairing the Delaware Cancer Consortium, I have seen firsthand the effects that cancer can have on all of those who are touched by this disease,” says Senator Bethany Hall-Long. “Early detection can be lifesaving when it comes to screenings for breast cancer which is why having access to the mobile mammography van can help reduce mortality and morbidity in our population.”

 

The van primarily targets those who are uninsured and/or low income; however, all women can be screened on the van. The van regularly visits community centers, senior centers, health care facilities, and employers throughout the state. Most women screened on the van are age 40 or older. For more information on the Women’s Mobile Health Screening Van, call 888-672-9647.

 

Event Photos by CM Baker. Captions below (from left to right).

 

 

 

 

Top Left: Group shot in front of the van

Top Right: Katelynn Mayers, Governor Jack Markell, Bethany Hall-Long

Bottom Left: Vicky Cooke and Liard Stabler

Bottom Right: Rebecca Elzey, Donna Stinson, Vicky Cooke, Christina Richter, Ciro Poppiti, Patti Key, and Linda Powell

 

 

Breast Cancer Update Was Great Success

Just about 300 people attended this year’s 19th Annual Breast Cancer Update held at Dover Downs Hotel and Rollins Conference Center on April 13. This year’s theme, Personalized Medicine: Not Your Grandmother’s Breast Cancer, focused on new methods of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, and more personalized options.

The morning sessions included informative talks about advances in diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer from Kevin Fox, M.D., Director, Rena Rowan Breast Cancer and Mariann T. and Robert J. MacDonald Professor in Breast Cancer Care Excellence, University of Pennsylvania, a look at what kind of research is being done here in Delaware by Jennifer Sims-Mourtada, Ph.D., Senior Clinical Scientist, Helen F Graham Cancer Center at Christiana Care Health System, and a look at complementary medicine including naturopathic practices by Marie Winters, ND, FABNO, Manager of Naturopathic Medicine, Cancer Treatment Centers of America and spirituality by Drew Angus, DMin, Director of Spiritual Outreach, Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

New this year was a look at breast reconstruction and nipple recreation. Erik Hoy, M.D., Plastic Surgeon, Premier Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery and Mandy Sauler, CPCP, Micropigmentation Specialist, Owner, CosMed Tattoo, LLC, both spoke about reconstruction after surgery and nipple recreation via tattooing. If you liked Mandy’s talk, you might enjoy this short video from Penn Medicine as well.IMG_9535

The day ended with a survivor panel with three local survivors sharing their stories, Barbie Andrews, Cheris Reed, and Holly Thatcher. This is always one of the most touching parts of the day and a favorite of many attendees!

Our expert panel of moderators included Owen Thomas, M.D., Radiation Oncology, Delmarva Radiation Services, Tunnell Cancer Center; Sara Gavenonis, M.D., Diagnostic Radiologist, Christiana Care Health System; Clara Higgins, D.O., FACOS, Trauma Medical Director, Beebe Healthcare; and Wendy Newell, M.D. FACS, General Surgeon, Wolf Creek Surgeons.

DBCC would like to thank the planning committee, chaired by board members Nanci Mayer-Mihalski and Wilma Yu, along with board members Tynetta Brown, Sue Bowlby, Patti Key, Beth Selsor, Linda Powell, Mary McLaughlin, Rena Howard, Donna Stinson, Ciro Poppiti, Amy Norgate, Dr. Clara Higgins, Dr. Wendy Newell  and all the sponsors, staff, volunteers, vendors, and all those who attended!

See you next year for the 20th Annual Breast Cancer Update – Wednesday, April 26, 2017!

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Breast Health Outreach & Education in Your Neighborhood

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The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Delaware’s MOST trusted breast cancer resource has a few upcoming outreach and education programs coming to your neighborhood. Please mark your calendars to join us …..

 

 

VIDA Living a Healthy Lifestyle Bilingual Health and Screening Fair

Saturday, April 2, 2016

11:30 am to 2:30 pm

Multicultural Church and Community Center, 105 NE Front Street, Milford, DE 19963

Join us for a day of breast health education, free screenings, and information on how to live a healthy lifestyle on Saturday, April 2, 2016 from 11:30am to 2:30pm at the Multi-Cultural Church & Community Center in Milford. The day will include: Clinical Breast Exams provided on site, Mammogram appointments available on the van (call 1-888-672-9647 to register), Health screening and insurance information from many vendors, and Glucose, Cholesterol, BMI, DEXA screenings provided by the Bayhealth Education Department. Food and snacks will be provided plus Families are welcome and Free Clothing Giveaways will be offered. Hope you can join us!

For more information visit our webpage, here.

 

Total Woman’s Conference: Empowering the Wise and Well Woman

Saturday, April 9, 2016

10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Milford Library, 11 SE Front Street, Milford, DE

Join the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition and Women of Wellness, LLC for the Total Woman’s Conference: Empowering the Wise and Well Woman on Saturday, April 9 from 10am to 1pm at the Milford Library. You can expect informative workshops, free screenings, and lunch. Admission is free but  registration is required. Visit tinyurl.com/wiseandwell to register.

For more information visit our webpage, here.

 

VIDA Living a Healthy Lifestyle Bilingual Health and Screening Fair

Saturday, April 23, 2016

8:30 am to 1:30 pm

Western Sussex Boys and Girls Club, 310 Virginia Avenue, Seaford, DE 19973

Join us for a day of breast health education, free screenings, and information on how to live a healthy lifestyle on Saturday, April 23, 2016 from 8:30am to 1:30pm at the Western Sussex Boys and Girls Club in Seaford. The day will include: Clinical Breast Exams provided on site, Health screening and insurance information from many vendors, and Glucose, Cholesterol, BMI, DEXA screenings provided by the Beebe Community Health. Food and snacks will be provided plus Families are welcome and Free Clothing Giveaways will be offered. Hope you can join us!

For more information visit our webpage, here.

In honor of Black History Month: Meet Natasha Simms

African American women are more likely to die of breast cancer than any other race and the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition does not like this statistic!!! This February in honor of Black History Month, the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition is running a special “Planting the S.E.E.D. to Health and History” campaign. Visit our website to download a free Family Health History Tree and learn about your family health history and risk factors that may affect you. As a special part of the campaign, we’d like to introduce you to some local African American Breast Cancer survivors throughout the month to share their stories. Without further ado, meet Natasha Simms. She is a breast cancer survivor and friend of DBCC filled with an inspirational message of hope, courage, wisdom, and survivorship in the excerpt below.

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Natasha Simms was 31 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Natasha began screening for breast cancer at a young age, because her twin sister Lynette (featured last week on the blog) was diagnosed just a short while before her. She had a clean mammogram in August 2012 and in September, Natasha felt a lump. Her sister, Lynette, urged her to visit the doctor.

Natasha’s doctor did a biopsy and it came back as breast cancer. She also found out she was BRCA1 positive. She had 3 small tumors and the doctor recommended a mastectomy as the first step. The surgery was scheduled for December. Within that time the tumor had grown 10 times its size and spread to her lymph nodes. So the date of her surgery, Natasha was told she needed emergency chemotherapy. After the second chemotherapy treatment her tumor shrunk back down to its original size and after three more treatments she did the surgery. It was a grueling 8 hours – a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction and 17 lymph nodes removed. Recovery was tough. Besides her eyebrows, she lost all her hair and her palms and fingers were black. She had four more rounds of chemotherapy and had some blood transfusions in between. 28 rounds of radiation later, Natasha was declared cancer free.

Because she was young, Natasha was told her cancer was more aggressive. That is why her tumors grew so quickly. But she was also told the treatment worked very well because she was her body was strong to fight back.

Natasha says watching her sister go through cancer made her stronger on her journey. She wasn’t scared of dying because she saw her sister survive and thrive. She says her biggest concerns were shallow thoughts like, “I’m young, I don’t have any breasts, I don’t have any hair, I don’t have a husband”, and wondering why it happened to her. But after her cancer, Natasha says the beauty inside her came out. She didn’t fall back on her physical looks. She appreciated the parts of her body that were functioning and supporting her, like her legs for helping her walk, and her eyes for helping her see.

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On the day of her diagnosis, Natasha recalls a rainbow in the sky. Her sister Lynette told her that was God’s promise that she wasn’t going to die from the cancer. Natasha gained strength and encouragement like this from her sister throughout her journey. She also found comfort in being able to call someone like Lois at the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition and talk about what she was going through and all the challenges in her life.

Natasha (and Lynette) are the only ones from a family of 12 to have breast cancer. But Natasha says she had a grandmother that died of ovarian cancer and an uncle who died of prostate cancer. So she has urged her cousins to get their genetic testing. Natasha has 4 children and once they are 18 they will go through genetic testing. Her family and her children are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer due to their family history.

There are still after effects of the cancer that Natasha faces all the time but overall, she feels fortunate that her health is fine. After speaking to her doctor she had a complete hysterectomy to reduce her risk of developing ovarian cancer. And because the genetic make up of her cancer she cannot take any estrogen hormone replacements. So she is reading, learning techniques and managing the best she can. She has started to meditate, write books, and hosts a radio and online web show to talk about issues.

For someone who might be newly diagnosed and reading Natasha’s story, she has some words of wisdom, “Life is not over when you are diagnosed with breast cancer. This is just a test to show how strong you really are. Pull your strength from this. Be positive. Keep a smile.”

For any African American women reading this during black history month, Natasha has a special message. In general, we don’t like to go to the doctors. Doctors always have bad news. But you need to be familiar with how your body feels and if anything doesn’t feel right – go to the doctor. And most importantly, listen to the doctor. It might just save your life.”

 

lynette