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Bay Area Cancer Connections is providing this blog as a public service. The views and opinions expressed by guests in this blog are those of the authors and do not reflect the views, official policy, or position of Bay Area Cancer Connections.  Their appearance in our blog does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. This disclaimer is always subject to change, revision, and rethinking at any time. If you have any questions about this disclaimer, please contact Colleen Carvalho, Director of Programs and Services at colleen@bayareacancer.org.

My ovarian cancer journey

My name is Annie, and I’m 46 years old. My husband and I have been married for 19 years, and we have three wonderful children together, ages 17, 14, and 11. We live in the East Bay with a 90-pound female American Bulldog who has a 50-pound Pitbull for a brother. By all accounts, weRead More ...

One-Year Survivor: The Joy and Vicissitudes of Surviving Cancer

This post was originally published on the author’s blog and reprinted with her consent. ​A year ago, I was undergoing cancer treatment. This month, I am celebrating my one-year survivorship. It is a big milestone on many levels. I underwent so much pain and so many sorrows. I am grateful for life, even though the hardships are notRead More ...

OUR COMMITMENT TO THE COMMUNITY

I wanted to take a moment to pause from business as usual and  thank you as a community of people who care deeply about one another and our world. I am sure that many of your hearts are heavy like ours. We have been taking the time to reflect and listen during this time as we takeRead More ...

Learn About Our Annual Volunteer recognition awardees

Each year, we ask our staff and community to nominate volunteers that stand out for the wonderful work they have done to support us.  Under normal circumstances, we would gather together to celebrate all of our volunteers who choose to donate their time and talents to us throughout the year. Without our volunteers, BACC wouldRead More ...

From Sewing to Fight Cancer to Stitching to Fight COVID-19

Regina Bortolus epitomizes the humble ‘angel’ among us.  As a member of Mani di Angeli, a group within the Italian American Women’s Guild, she has led a group of dedicated women who have spent many hours creating and sewing dolls for pediatric wards at local hospitals and heart pillows for newly diagnosed clients of BayRead More ...

10 Ways You Can Support BACC

It is no secret that we absolutely love our BACC community. There’s a good reason that our Executive Director has been known to send emails and letters with the sign off “sending hugs!” It’s because, even before this pandemic, we knew we had the absolute best community. Now, during this time, our love and appreciationRead More ...

Immunotherapy for Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Results from the IMpassion 130 clinical trial show that there is benefit to adding immunotherapy to chemotherapy in the treatment of metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). This phase III clinical trial randomized 902 people with untreated metastatic TNBC to treatment with either chemotherapy or chemotherapy plus immunotherapy. The immunotherapy drug used in the study wasRead More ...

A New PI3K-Inhibitor for Advanced Estrogen Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer

Forty percent of advanced estrogen-receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer patients have mutations that result in uncontrolled activation of the PI3K pathway. This pathway is involved in resistance to endocrine therapies and can promote the growth of ER+ breast cancer cells. SOLAR-1 is a phase III clinical trial of 572 patients with advanced ER+, HER2-negative breast cancer. TheRead More ...

Benefits of Oatmeal – With Recipe

Did You Know?A cup of oatmeal provides tryptophan – amino acid that converts to serotonin – the feel good brain hormone that in turn converts to melatonin – the sleep promoting hormone. The carbs in the oats promote the production of insulin which helps tryptophan get into the brain. And oats are high in VitaminRead More ...

The Most Beautiful Place (And You’re Invited)

“The purpose of a or any human in general should not be to simply delay the death of a patient, but to increase the person’s quality of life.” – Patch Adams, MD If you distilled the sweetest goodness of medicine, you’d get the Bay Area Cancer Connections. Twenty-five years ago, a patient and aRead More ...

Partial Breast Radiation

The standard of care after lumpectomy for early-stage breast cancer typically includes whole breast radiation (WBI) to reduce the risk of local recurrence. WBI is usually delivered daily for 3–6 weeks. Several recent studies have investigated the effectiveness of accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI), which restricts the radiation to the area of the original tumor.Read More ...

Delaying Chemotherapy for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Impacts Outcome

Triple-negative breast cancer is characterized by the lack of the estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2 receptor. Chemotherapy is the mainstay of systemic treatment for this type of cancer. A study led by researchers in Peru found that the time to initiation of chemotherapy is important for women diagnosed with stage II-III triple-negative breast cancer.Read More ...

The Benefits of Cannabis for Symptom Management

A 2017 Gallup poll indicated that 64% of Americans now support cannabis legalization, as many are turning to cannabis to safely and effectively treat symptoms related to neurological disorders, cancer, psychological disorders, gastrointestinal disease, infectious disease, and inflammatory disease. How can one plant help with so many conditions and have so few side effects? ToRead More ...

Bay Area Cancer Connections Announces Three New Board Members

Bay Area Cancer Connections (BACC), the largest nonprofit educator and free support network serving anyone affected by breast and ovarian cancer in the Bay Area, has appointed three new members to its board with extensive experience in finance, health care and medical marketing.   Press Release ...

T-DM1 for HER2-Positive Disease That Doesn’t Fully Respond to Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy

HER2-positive early breast cancer patients who have cancer remaining in their breast or lymph nodes after neoadjuvant (before surgery) chemotherapy plus HER2-targeted therapy have a high risk of recurrence and death. KATHERINE is a phase III clinical trial that randomized node-positive patients of all stages who did not fully respond to chemotherapy before surgery toRead More ...

Extended Endocrine Therapy with Aromatase Inhibitors

Five years of endocrine therapy with an aromatase inhibitor (AI) is highly effective in reducing the risk of recurrence of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer; however, the risk continues beyond the five years of treatment. Researchers analyzed the combined results of 12 clinical trials involving 24,912 postmenopausal women with estrogen-receptor-positive disease to determine if there is aRead More ...

Why Answering “How Are You” Is Difficult As a Cancer Patient

Many people are unaware of how difficult it is to answer social greetings when one is in crisis. They ask “how are you” mechanically, without thinking. I’ve done that in the past. Before my experience of cancer painfully opened my eyes to the stress of social greetings. I suddenly became one of many struggling everydayRead More ...

Low-Dose Tamoxifen for ADH, LCIS, and DCIS

Tamoxifen is often used to prevent recurrence of hormonally driven breast cancer after surgery; however, it can cause significant side effects that adversely affect the quality of life of patients. It has previously been thought that a lower dose of tamoxifen (5 mg) might be as effective as the standard dose (20 mg), but withRead More ...

Should Everyone Receive Genetic Testing Following a Breast Cancer Diagnosis?

Approximately 10% of breast cancers are due to an inherited genetic mutation. Not all women are referred for genetic testing following a breast cancer diagnosis. This is because many doctors follow the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines, which recommend testing only those individuals who meet specific high-risk criteria. However, a new study suggests that currentRead More ...

BACC Boutique

Our on-site Boutique is a hidden gem in the Bay Area as it provides hundreds of wigs, hats, scarves, bras, breast prostheses and swimsuits at absolutely no cost! All of these supplies are graciously donated and our trained staff and volunteers are on hand to assist with any fittings to see what you like. AfterRead More ...

Exercise and Rehabilitation as a Part of Cancer Treatment

Exercise and rehabilitation play an integral role in helping patients return to work and regular activities after cancer treatment. In May 2018, the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) issued formal guidelines recommending exercise as an integral part of cancer treatment. They join organizations such as the Academy of Oncology Physical Therapy, the Academy CollegeRead More ...

Time Out

I find it inspiring to hear from people across the globe about their stories of family caregiving. Whether it has personally touched them or they know of others going through it, the stories are heartwarming and heartbreaking. Quite often the difficult things to hear are the effects of the caregiver’s life. Our team at BreathingRead More ...

Bay Area Cancer Connections Hosts 15th Annual Cancer Conference

Bay Area Cancer Connections (BACC), the largest nonprofit educator and free support network serving anyone affected by breast and ovarian cancer in the Bay Area, is hosting its 15th Annual Cancer Conference which features medical experts, updates on treatments and wellness along with a resource fair​. Press Release ...

Right to Try: What Does It Mean For You?

By Michelle Esser, Senior Program Manager, Research and Advocacy, Young Survival Coalition ​A new law recently passed by Congress and signed by President Trump has been making headlines over the past few months. This “Right to Try” law allows terminally ill patients to request an investigational drug that has completed Phase I trials directly from  a Read More ...

Bay Area Cancer Connections Celebrates 25 Years – Unveils New Logo and Website

B​ay Area Cancer Connections (BACC), the largest nonprofit educator and free support network serving anyone affected by breast and ovarian cancer in the Bay Area, is launching the celebration of its 25th year with a new logo and website. Press Release ...

Latina Breast Cancer Agency Merges With Bay Area Cancer Connections

Latina Breast Cancer Agency (LBCA), which provides free access to breast health resources for low income women and women of color, will merge into Bay Area Cancer Connections (BACC), the largest nonprofit educator and support network serving anyone affected by breast and ovarian cancer in the Bay Area. Press Release ...

If Only I Could Find A Way Through

When my life gets on overload (raise your hands with me on how many of you find yourself in that position), my brain seems to disappear. I have a thought, and in a blink, something else comes up, and I race to find the idea I had because it disappeared so quickly. Blink. Gone. ItRead More ...

Benefits of Eating Seasonally

Eating seasonally is kind of my thing—you could say that it borders on obsession. You could also say that I’m a food and nutrition geekyou’d be right. Here are a few reasons why I’m a big proponent of eating seasonally:1) Seasonal produce is often grown locally and is therefore fresher because it hasn’t traveled nearly as farRead More ...

“A Gift of Cancer” a personal story by Lauren Huffmaster

Cancer treatments create a massive physical struggle and a daily fight for survival. Constant medical scrutiny leads to insecurity. Treatments take away strength, both physical and mental. Then one day, my last treatment is done and it hits me: What comes next? Is the cancer gone? How will I know? Isn’t there anything else thatRead More ...

How Knitting Got Me Through Cancer

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I had already returned to knitting several years earlier after a break of many years. Knitting projects were great to bring along on business trips and I spent many hours knitting in hospital rooms as my father’s health declined. There was an exciting new social media platformRead More ...

In the Fight Against Cancer, Children Are Powerful Allies

There’s not much that can rock one’s world like a cancer diagnosis; diagnosed with breast cancer a few months after the birth of my daughter, what was the most joyful time in my life suddenly became the scariest. Instead of worrying about what type of dye-free, biodegradable diapers I should purchase, I was consumed withRead More ...

In The News

Breast cancer charities: Where to give — and where to avoid Writing Your Way Through Cancer ...