Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), now through April 6, our staff will be working remotely to ensure the health and safety of our team, as well as our communities.

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Age bias is a problem for breast cancer patients

Breast cancer treatment today is no longer “one size fits all”—what is best for one woman may not be right for another. It’s important to learn as much as possible about your individual breast cancer diagnosis when making a treatment decision. For some patients, a genomic test can help determine whether chemotherapy is necessary in addition to hormone therapy to treat breast cancer and help prevent future recurrences.

Numerous studies, including the landmark TAILORx trial of over 10,000 women using the Oncotype DX® genomic test, demonstrate that the vast majority of women with early-stage breast cancer* do not need chemotherapy.1 These types of tests have been available for more than a decade, but some breast cancer patients aren’t offered this important tool. A recent study from the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Registry looked at how often early stage breast cancer patients were receiving a genomic test to help guide their treatment decisions.

With more than 44,600 patients in the SEER study, results revealed that age was a factor influencing whether or not a woman received a genomic test. In fact, genomic testing rates decreased 1.5-fold in younger (under 40) patients and 3-fold in older (over 70) patients when compared to the “typical” age breast cancer patient (ages 40-70).2 Traditional assumptions about age, breast cancer aggressiveness and health may have impacted these patient’s treatment plans – assumptions that all younger breast cancer patients have more aggressive disease and that older breast cancer patients either can’t tolerate or don’t need chemotherapy – resulting in the potential over-treatment or under-treatment of a patient’s breast cancer. It is important to recognize that not all cancers are the same.

No Matter My Age was created to help educate and raise awareness about the need for all breast cancer patients – regardless of their age – to get as much information as they can before making a treatment decision. This means learning how to self-advocate and to ask questions about care options, including whether a genomic test may help determine the best treatment plan.

To learn more, please visit No Matter My Age (www.NoMatterMyAge.org).

*Patients with early-stage, hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer

The Financial Side Effects of Cancer

Financial Toxicity

130% increase in financial difficulties for patients in active treatment

Job Loss

Between 20-30% of women diagnosed with breast cancer will lose their jobs

Bankruptcy

10M will be unable to pay for rent, food & utilities because of medical bills

Impact on Savings

76% of full time workers nationwide live paycheck to paycheck

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Dear Pink Fund Community,

As we continue to monitor the evolving situation related to COVID-19 (coronavirus), our top priority remains the health and safety of our staff and constituents. While this is a challenging time, we are committed to working together to support the breast cancer patients who qualify for assistance. I want to share a few updates with you on how The Pink Fund is addressing and adjusting to the situation. Most importantly, please know that we understand that the uncertainty and unprecedented nature of these times can be tough on all of us, and we are here to support you, your families and the breast cancer community.

  • Now through April 6, our staff will be working remotely to ensure the health and safety of our team, as well as our communities. It will be business as usual for The Pink Fund, with possible delays. So, please be patient with our staff. We'll continue to monitor the situation in real-time to determine when circumstances change. We are so grateful for the flexibility and dedication of our employees, who have already shown their commitment to this temporary model, and to ensuring no disruptions to our mission during this time. Thank you for your patience as we work through any adjustments in our process to ensure the most timely responses possible in these circumstances and to ensure our mission of #RealHelpNow is delivered.
  • Despite these changes, we remain intently focused on the needs of our community. Every day, our staff and volunteers work tirelessly to make an impact for breast cancer patients needing financial assistance. We will remain dedicated and focused in remaining a trusted source of support and hope for those we serve. Continuing our work to fund and fulfill our mission is crucial.

Thank you for understanding as the situation evolves rapidly.

As always, we are here to help. Please feel free to reach out to our team at info@thepinkfund.org for questions. For information specific to the coronavirus and the most up-to-date information on the situation, please visit CDC.gov.

With gratitude for your ongoing support,

 

Molly MacDonald