Media request

Hello, my name is Emily Graham and I work with ABC News based out of Phoenix, Az (www.ABCNewsOnCampus.com). As October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I am working on a story and would like to find someone who is between the ages of 18-late 20s to speak with. The focus of my story is on how many young people are affected by this cancer yet many still believe this cancer can only hit those that are older.

I’m based out of Arizona so it would be great if someone in Arizona who has battled the disease or currently battling could contact me to further discuss this story. Please contact me at      emily.graham@abcnewsoncampus.com.

Best of luck and have a great day,

Emily Graham
Bureau Chief
ABC News on Campus
Phoenix, Az

Curing cancer with shoes

Okay so we can’t cure cancer with shoes even if they make us feel better.  QVC will be having their annual  FFANY  Shoes on Sale show in Wednesday, October 15th from 7 to 10 pm eastern time.  If you’re new to this here’s how it works; Tons of shoes will be shown and will be sold at half price.  The net proceeds are donated to a variety of breast cancer research and education charities.

Here’s the list of shoe designers represented this year.  There may well be more.  Also a word, if you’re really into shoes don’t bother trying to tape or tivo this.  The shoes are usually gone quite quickly.

Andre Assous, Cape Clogs  Continue reading

How’s your economy?

Like most of you I’ve been following the economy and wondering what to expect next. Suze Orman was on last night and I have to admit I was a bit shocked by her predictions that the economy is going to be in recovery until 2015!

I hope she’s wrong but I guess our best bet is to prepare as if she’s right. How are you scaling back? Is the economy changing your life in a significant way? What are you doing to save money?

Here’s the link where she explains the situation.  I can’t seem to get it to post to the blog.

Treehugger used my tip

Okay really small celebration here.  Treehugger.com used my piece on BPA and chemotherapy!   I am so excited.  Anyway, thanks for reading and here’s the link to treehugger.

BPA and chemotherapy

There is newly released research published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives regarding BPA interaction with chemotherapy.  Their conclusion?

BPA at environmentally relevant doses reduces the efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents. These data provide considerable support to the accumulating evidence that BPA is hazardous to human health.

In other words without using excessive doses of BPA protects both estrogen receptor positive and negative breast cancer tumors.  The chemo drugs that were tested are doxorubicin, cisplatin and vinblastine.

Doxorubicin (Adriamycin/Rubex) is also used to treat bladder, head and neck, liver, lung, pancreatic and ovarian cancers as well as some leukemias and lymphomas.

Cisplatin (Platinol) is also used to treat testicular, ovarian and bladder cancers as well as Hodgkins and non Hodgkins lymphomas.

Vinblastine (Alkaban/Velban) is also used to treat lung, bladder, head and neck and other cancers as well as some Hodgkins and non Hodgkins lymphomas.

The research did not report on the effect of BPA on these chemotherapeutic agents with other cancer types. In August 2008 the FDA released the following statement:  FDA concludes that an adequate margin of safety exists for BPA at current levels of exposure from food contact uses, for infants and adults.

Here is the link to the entire study in PDF format.

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Politics, Healthcare and your life

There are over 10,000 children diagnosed with cancer ever year. In 2004, 64,800 young adults, 15 to 39 years old, were diagnosed with cancer.

You know these people and you know me.  I’m the Mom you see at daycare drop off or at the PTA meeting. The kid you know from church on Sunday.  I’m the woman that works with you or your son’s soccer coach. I am just like everyone else. I am also a breast cancer survivor diagnosed at age 38. I had no family history. I had only had one mammogram, because I was 38.

I had lots of treatments. Two surgeries, 12 rounds of chemotherapy, 35 doses of radiation, physical therapy and more vials of blood than I care to remember. I have health insurance and I believe that I am alive because of it.

Like many of you I have been watching the coverage of the Presidential candidates. While I pay close attention to the health care proposals because of what I’ve gone through, I know they resonate just as strongly with others as well.  If you’re diabetic or have lupus, MS or asthma I know, or at least hope you’re listening.

I am fortunate to be insured through my workplace. I don’t personally write a check for my coverage but I was interested in what a $5,000 tax credit would buy. I had heard the horror stories but never checked it out for myself. I called some insurance companies today to get an estimate of what it would cost me to purchase individual health insurance.

Of four companies, three would treat the breast cancer as a pre-existing condition. No coverage for any services related to the breast cancer. No coverage for follow up appointments, annual PET scans ($3,000), no Femara ($381 per month for 5 years).

I found one company that offers a guarantee issue insurance.  The rates?  The least expensive plan that would cover me with a $5,000 deductible and a 50% copay would cost $1,400 per month. That’s the bargain plan.  The high end coverage with a $250 deductible and 100% copay would cost just over $4,000 per month.  I expect to live a long time and rates will increase as I age.

One plan is selling a $5,000 refundable tax credit.  But that would not touch the price of insurance and here is the really terrifying part.  If I were out shopping in the market for health insurance at 38 years old and healthy, I wouldn’t look for a policy with good cancer coverage. Cheap prescriptions maybe or maternity coverage but not cancer. Cancer doesn’t  happen to us. I’d be looking for a rate I could pay for and still pay off student loans and make car payments.  The only reason I have good coverage is because it is through my employer and is designed to cover everyone, young and old, healthy and the not so healthy.

If this is something that is important to you or to someone you love, I urge you to take the time to understand the plans that are being proposed.  It is more complex than a sound bite or a slogan can address. It may well be a matter of life or death.

Information about  both plans at  Dallas NewsHealth Affairs,

Barack Obama.com,   John McCain.com Kaiser Family Foundation Health08

(If you want the names of the insurance companies referenced e-mail me at aftercancer@yahoo.com)

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In the Pink – Payless

Payless Shoes is selling bracelets and pink ribbon slippers. Donations go to Komen for the Cure. 100 percent of the net profits for each bracelet sold $2, $1.30 from the sale of each pair of pink ribbon slippers

Suggested retail price is $2 per bracelet and $10 per pink ribbon slippers plus tax. Program runs from September 25, 2008, through February 28, 2009

$100,000 minimum guaranteed donation