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Take Action During This “Breast Cancer Awareness Month”!

October, “Breast Cancer Awareness Month”, is a time to reflect on the impact of breast cancer nationwide and in Maine. This year more than 1,170 Maine residents will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 170 will die of this disease.

Awareness is a first step toward change, but it will take more than awareness for change to take place. Actions by individuals and groups will have an impact on breast cancer.  Even small actions make a difference.

Consider the following ways you can make a difference during this Breast Cancer Awareness Month and beyond:

Join the National Breast Cancer Coalition, and learn about Breast Cancer Deadline 2020, NBCC’s strategic plan to know how to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020. 

Read this powerful statement from the National Breast Cancer Coalition; then take part in Breast Cancer Deadline 2020:

"Despite years of campaigns to raise awareness, ever expanding screening programs, increased fundraising efforts and research, we are far from preventing breast cancer or preventing deaths from it.

It is time to end our addiction to comfortable. To easy. To 'good enough.' We can't afford any more years of the status quo. It's time we take action! That’s what the National Breast Cancer Coalition is doing this October. We are taking action. And we invite you to join us!"

Be part of the solution! Join the Dr. Susan Love / Avon Army of Women,  whose goal is to recruit one million healthy women of every age and ethnicity, including breast cancer survivors and women at high risk for the disease, to partner with breast cancer researchers and directly participate in the research that will eradicate breast cancer once and for all. For information visit

Acadia Lymphedema Conference:
New Frontiers in Diagnosis and Treatment

Friday, October 25 – Saturday, October
Bar Harbor Regency Hotel and Marina
Bar Harbor, Maine

This regional conference is designed to enhance the knowledge of physicians and other health care practitioners, and those at risk for or living with lymphedema, by presenting the latest advances in clinical issues and research regarding lymphedema. The conference will focus on the clinical manifestations and diagnostic criteria of lymphedema and the ongoing research in lymphology, with a look forward to new treatment frontiers.

Who should attend: physicians (MD and DO), physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, patients, and others interested in the topic of lymphedema. (Continuing Education credits are available.)

Conference objectives include:
At the conclusion of this course attendees should be able to:
·         Understand the pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of lymphedema
·         Understand the research efforts in lymphatic biology and disease
  • Understand the impact of the advances in the study, diagnosis and treatment of lymphedema   
  • Describe the medical considerations of managing lymphedema with co-morbid conditions   
  • Discuss the fact and fiction of the risk factors and precautions in managing lymphedema
  • Understand/discuss post breast cancer syndrome and its implications   
  • Understand/discuss the quality of life issues of patients with lymphedema   
  • Understand the restrictions of Medicare and third-party payers in the treatment and support of DMEs associated with lymphedema . . .  and more.
For information and a detailed program description, or to register, visit the Beth C. Wright Resource Center website at, call 207-664-0339, or click here.

October Fundraisers for Maine Breast Cancer Coalition

Many diverse Maine businesses have stepped up this October to raise funds for the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition. For a full list and descriptions of the more than a dozen current fundraisers, visit our Donate page and scroll down to "support a current fundraising event."

Please support these businesses that support the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition!

News From the Silent Spring Institute

Experts Call for Federal Government
to Increase Breast Cancer Prevention Efforts

Citing eleven Silent Spring Institute studies, a major federal interagency report issued February 12, 2013, calls for greater investment in research on breast cancer prevention. The report highlights the scientific evidence about potential environmental causes of breast cancer, and shines a light on the fact that currently only a small fraction of the government’s breast cancer funding is spent on prevention.

The report was issued by the Interagency Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Coordinating Committee (IBCERCC), composed of breast cancer experts from governmental agencies (including NCI, NIEHS, EPA, CDC, DOD) as well as leaders in scientific research and advocacy—and it specifically recognizes Silent Spring Institute’s founders as influential pioneers.

“We can no longer ignore the major gaps in understanding the role of the environment in breast cancer, because we are constantly exposed to combinations of chemicals without knowing whether they could make one at risk for breast cancer,” said Michele Forman, chair of the Interagency Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Coordinating Committee (IBCERCC) and an epidemiologist at The University of Texas at Austin. “We want this report to be a call to action, to bring awareness to the issue of prevention and move the country forward on this issue. This report is intended to set the stage for a strategic plan in much the same way the 1964 surgeon general’s report on smoking tobacco changed how we thought about lung cancer risk.”

The report notes that only 10-16 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer have a first-degree relative with a history of the disease, illustrating the important role of non-inherited factors. The report relies substantially on Silent Spring Institute research, including the list we created of mammary carcinogens and our review of epidemiologic studies of environmental chemicals. Our model for research on chemicals and breast cancer is recognized as foundational. 
From the report: “The Committee’s recommendations for research on breast cancer and the environment reflect [Silent Spring Institute Executive Director] Brody and colleagues’ approach to prevention-oriented science. This approach… ascertains exposure pathways and evaluates animal and cell-based studies that suggest biologically plausible links to breast cancer.”

The IBCERCC specifically recommends a focus on chemicals, among other research priorities. It will be up to us to make sure that the forward-looking recommendations for research on suspect chemicals are implemented and that the new science is put into action.

Learn more by reading media coverage of the report, including articles in Forbes and the New York Times, or visit

The Silent Spring Institute is staffed and led by researchers dedicated to science that serves the public interest. They partner with physicians, public health and community advocates and other scientists to identify and break the links between environmental chemicals and women’s health, especially breast cancer.

Meet the Volunteer

“I enjoy patient care, and have always been a patient advocate.

Roberta Wessel, MBCC President

Maine Breast Cancer Coalition is a volunteer-based organization. With the exception of one Maine Affiliate of Susan G. Komen®- funded part-time Support Service Fund program assistant (who also volunteers for MBCC), we are all volunteers.

Roberta Wessel joined MBCC two years ago, and is our 2013 president. She is the breast center supervisor at MDI hospital, and has been a mammographer for more than 30 years. She brings her considerable knowledge and experience to her role as president.

Why do you choose to volunteer your time with MBCC?
“I enjoy patient care, and have always been a patient advocate. I enjoy going out into the community and educating women on the importance of annual mammography, and the benefits of good health.”

What tasks do you typically do for MBCC?
“In January 2013, I became the president of MBCC. I feel privileged to work with an amazing group of volunteers. I facilitate coalition meetings, which are held 7-8 times a year. Since the organization is statewide, it can be challenging to keep everyone informed; we try to communicate through email. I try to stay involved in the different fundraising events, as well as health fairs and conferences.  It is important to keep communities informed about what we want to do for women facing breast cancer.”

What do you like to do in your spare time?
"I enjoy reading, sewing, knitting, spending time with my husband and family. We enjoy biking and have recently taken up downhill skiing again. I have two grown sons. My oldest is married and he and his wife live in Blue Hill. My youngest son lives in California. We like to travel and look forward to family vacations with them.” 

Tell about an unusual or surprising fact about yourself.
“My brother and wife asked if we wanted to go to Sugarloaf to go on the zipline. I would usually be inclined to say no, but I surprised myself by saying, ‘Yes, let's go!’ I want to step out of my comfort zone and do something different.”

For information about becoming a Maine Breast Cancer Coalition volunteer, contact us at or 800-928-2644.

Join Us During “Breast Cancer Awareness Month”
Show your support and join the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition in our efforts. Annual memberships supply critical funding for our volunteer-based nonprofit organization’s general operating costs and make it possible for us to continue our important work.

Memberships are available at various levels for both individuals and businesses.

Renewing or new members at the $50 or above level will receive a free copy of the Pink Album, a $20 value.

Click here to join online.

Looking For the Perfect Gift?

Your purchase of the Pink Album directly benefits Maine residents with unmet breast cancer or breast health needs through our Support Service Fund.

This 2-CD set contains nearly two hours of fantastic music by accomplished Maine female singer/songwriters. Available at Bull Moose Music locations statewide, or visit our website at to purchase via mail.

Maine State Police Cruisers to Display Breast Cancer Specialty License Plate During October

NEWS RELEASE from the Maine Department of Public Safety
Contacts: Spokesman, Steve McCausland, 626-3811, or Colonel Robert Williams, 624-7200

With five breast cancer survivors, all associated with the State Police, looking on, the first State Police breast cancer awareness license plate was attached to a Maine State Police cruiser today.  Colonel Robert Williams, Chief of the State Police, said his department’s marked police cruisers will display the plate during October -- Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 

The plates were purchased by the Maine State Police Troopers Association and will later be auctioned off as collectors' items by the Maine Cancer Foundation, with the proceeds benefiting three Maine cancer groups (Maine Cancer Foundation, Maine Breast Cancer Coalition, and the Maine CDC Breast and Cervical Health Program). Colonel Williams said, “State Police are pleased to participate in this effort to honor the many lives lost each year and to promote the importance of early detection.”

Left to right: Tara Hill, Executive Director, Maine Cancer Foundation; Roberta Wessel, Maine Breast Cancer Coalition President; Nancy Beadling, Maine Breast Cancer Coalition volunteer

“We all know someone that has been affected by breast cancer.  The State Police are no different. We have had co-workers, family members and friends all stricken with this devastating disease.  Last year the Maine State Troopers Association came forward with a project to help those affected by breast cancer.  When they approached me with what they had in mind, I could not have agreed more.  The project will run throughout the month of October, which is also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. 
The Maine State Police are pleased to participate in this effort to honor the many lives lost each year to this disease, and to promote the importance of early detection.  In this room, there are a number of survivors who have overcome breast cancer, and who have a renewed sense of life because of it.  To each of you, congratulations for winning your battle and thank you for inspiring us that there is hope for the future."  

What better time to get your
Maine Breast Cancer Specialty License Plate
than October, “Breast Cancer Awareness Month”?

There are now more than 16,000 of these plates on the road. Join these fellow-Mainers in helping to support breast cancer education, research, and patient support here in Maine.

The proceeds from the plate are split equally between three organizations: the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition for their Support Service Fund, the Maine Cancer Foundation for their Women’s Cancer Fund, and the Maine Breast and Cervical Health Program for their Mammogram Fund.

The plates are available from BMV branch offices and most town offices.

News for Maine motorcyclists! The pink ribbon specialty plate for cars was released in October 2008. Since then, well over $400,000 has been raised for programs here in Maine. Now an effort is under way to offer breast cancer specialty plates to the motorcycle community.

First, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles requires 500 reservations to start printing the motorcyle plate! Less than 100 motorcycle plates have been reserved so far. Please help us reach our goal of 500 reservations. Click here to reserve your plate now. Only $25!

Support Service Fund Update

Our Support Service Fund provides financial assistance for breast health or breast cancer related needs to qualified Maine residents.

Since we launched the Support Service Fund in 2000, we have helped more than 2,500 Maine residents with assistance totaling more than $1,200,000.


Just in 2013, we have helped more than 265 people with a wide range of services, including mammograms, hospital bills, physician/surgeon bills, co-pays, breast prostheses, prescriptions, temporary living expenses while in breast cancer treatment, travel expenses to treatments, and many other services. We expect to assist dozens more qualified applicants this year.


Support Service Fund recipients wrote,

"Your help is very much appreciated, as the 100-mile drive (to treatments) every day is both tiring and very expensive."

"... so helpful and caring. This is the only agency that helped me out during my difficult time dealing with breast cancer surgery, radiation therapy, and bills. Thank you for your kindness and help."

"Your support has been very much appreciated in getting these extremely helpful arm sleeves to keep my lymphedema (side effect of breast cancer treatment) under control."

Learn more about the Support Service Fund or download an application at, or call us toll-free at 800-928-2644.

Borman Family Foundation Awards Grant for
Support Service Fund Operational Costs

For ten consecutive years, the Borman Family Foundation of Oakland, Maine has been a strong supporter of the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition's work.

This year, the Borman Family Foundation responded to our need for additional funding for our operating expenses for the Support Service Fund. The Borman Foundation's $1,000 grant will be used to cover our toll-free phone line and postage costs for the second half of 2013. We volunteers at Maine Breast Cancer Coalition are grateful for the Borman Family Foundation's continued support.

We would like to express our appreciation to the following individuals, groups, organizations, or businesses that held or supported
recent fundraising events to benefit MBCC
Long-time supporter and Pink Album project sponsor, PATCO Construction of Sanford, for continued earnings from the Pink Album

Bangor Savings Bank, for their purchase of a Pink Album for each breast cancer survivor at the Portland Susan G. Komen Maine Race for the Cure®  (Bangor Savings Bank supported a similar program at the 2012 Bangor Race.)

PepsiCo Foundation for a matching grant

Long-time supporter, Fraternal Order of Eagles Club, Brewer

Old Orchard Beach Raging Tide
baseball team.

Also, thank you to the St. Joseph Hospital Printing Department for in-kind donations of newsletter printing.

We are grateful for recent donations from:
Mary Beth DiMarco
Julia Kiselva
Mary Lou Look
Carol Maxwell
Kathy Sites
Kevin and Kelly Poulin and friends for their “Survivor: Poulin Island” fundraiser

Lydia Musselman in honor of Sylvia Williams
Brewer Eagles in memory of Nancy Parsons
Mary Agnes St. Pierre in memory of Elaine Marie Jenkins

In memory of Priscilla Hensel:
Rita Capalbo
Dan and Lynne Oullette
Friends of Priscilla Hensel

How You Can Support MBCC's Work

Join Us!  
Annual memberships are available at various levels for both individuals and businesses. Click here to join us online.

… or please consider a tax-deductible donation of any amount to Maine Breast Cancer Coalition. Make a donation of $50 or more and you will receive a free copy of the Pink Album.

You can donate online  and make a secure donation using your credit card or PayPal account. 

… or hold a fundraiser: If your community group, business, or organization would like to dedicate all or part of the proceeds from a fundraising effort to the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition, contact us at 800-928-2644 or

Copyright © 2013 Maine Breast Cancer Coalition, All rights reserved.

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