CO Gives Day is Coming!


Support the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group on Colorado Gives Day!

Colorado’s largest one-day online giving event, presented by Community First Foundation and FirstBank, is coming up and we need your support.

On Tuesday, December 8, 2015, thousands of donors will come together to support Colorado nonprofits like ours. Last year, a record-breaking $26.2 million was raised for Colorado nonprofits, $772,541 of that was raised for nonprofits right here in Eagle County.

Check out our donation page on…/overview.

Give where you live, give where you play on Colorado Gives Day. Your support helps us continue to provide financial and emotional assistance to those diagnosed with breast cancer in the vail valley. Beginning today, donations can be scheduled ahead of time. Thank you as always for the support in this beautiful community.

Mammogram Guidelines Updated

mammogramAfter a thorough review of the benefits and limitations of mammograms, the nation’s top cancer-fighting organization is advising women that they can wait until they are 45 years old to start using the tests to screen for breast cancer.
New guidelines from the American Cancer Society also assure women that they can have fewer mammograms over the course of their lives.
The guidelines, published in Wednesday’s edition of the Journal of the American Medical Assn., are designed for women who are in good health and have no reason to suspect their risk of developing breast cancer is above average. The findings represent a departure from the group’s previous recommendation that all women with an average risk of breast cancer get annual mammograms starting at age 40.

THANK YOU to everyone for our first successful “Bradazzled” benefit!

JPeg for internet Thank you Ad
A very special thank you to everyone who made our first “Bradazzled” event such a success. We are deeply thankful to all the wonderful people who comprise this beautiful generous community of ours.

October is breast cancer awareness month, join us for “Bradazzled”!



October is breast cancer awareness month and it is right around the corner! Join us on Wednesday, October 14th 5:30pm-8:00pm at Galerie Zuger in Solaris for “Bradazzled”. We will have food, drink and a silent auction of bedazzled bras made by local artists.


Acupuncture Relieves AI-Related Aches

acupunctureOncology Times 9/10/15

VIENNA—Acupuncture treatments appear to relieve the common
musculoskeletal discomfort experienced by women taking aromatase inhibitors (AIs) to reduce the risk of recurrent breast cancer, researchers reported in a small, single-arm study.

Giovanni Giardina, MD, Senior Assistant in Oncology at Ospedale diCircolo e Fondazione Macchi reported that a study of Italian women with self-reported musculoskeletal pain, who were treated with acupuncture techniques, reported improvement in pain and quality of life on validated assessment instruments.

He and his coauthors enrolled 17 women in the study, and reported on outcomes for 16, all of whom were experiencing musculoskeletal pain as a result of long-term therapy with aromatase inhibitors. The women ranged in age from 49 to 78, with a median of 62.

“All patients had a significant improvement of musculoskeletal aromatase inhibitor-related pain,” Giardina reported, “and our study suggests that acupuncture may be a promising modality for relieving aromatase inhibitor-related musculoskeletal side effects.

Warning that Hormone Replacement Therapy Nullifies Benefits of Exercise in Breast Cancer Risk-Reduction




CHICAGO–Physical activity is known to reduce the risk of breast cancer–but all the benefit of that activity appears to be negated by taking hormone replacement therapy. That is the conclusion of a meta-analysis reported here at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting (Abstract 1561).


“If you are a runner you should not take hormone replacement therapy because the hormones appear to wipe out the benefit as far as prevention of breast cancer is concerned,” Cécile Pizot, MS, a biostatistician at the International Prevention Research Institute in France, said in an interview at her poster study.


“A lower risk of breast cancer among physically active women has been frequently reported, but the risk in women using hormone replacement therapy appears to be higher.”


Asked for her perspective, Stephanie Bernik, MD, Chief of Surgical Oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said: “Although it has been known that physical activity could reduce the risk of breast cancer and that hormone replacement could increase the risk of the disease, it is interesting that this meta-analysis showed that hormone replacement could actually negate the positive effects of exercise.


“Women who exercise often want to do what they can to feel young and stay healthy,” she continued. “Although we have known the negative effects of hormone therapy, doctors now have persuasive evidence that the negative effects of hormone replacement therapy override the positive effect of physical activity. Women should be encouraged to do what they can to live healthy lifestyles, with the understanding that it is difficult to justify the use of hormone replacement therapy as part of that equation.”

Memory problems may be linked to “Cancer” Brain, not “Chemo Brain.”

Memory problems and cognitive impairment in women with breast

cancer have traditionally been blamed on “chemo brain,” but a new

study shows that there may be problems even before patients start

on chemotherapy and suggests that cognitive problems may be

linked to cytokines released by the cancer.

The study was published online June 22 in the Journal of the National

Cancer Institute.

The study is the first to describe a relationship between cytokines and

patients with newly diagnosed breast cancer who have not yet

received any cancer treatment.

“Cognitive dysfunction in breast cancer patients has traditionally been

attributed to the effects of chemotherapy (‘chemo brain’). However,

our findings indicate that it is present even prior to any cancer

treatment,” commented first author Sunita Patel, PhD, a clinical

neuropsychologist at City of Hope Medical Center, in Duarte,


In general, “chemo brain” refers to the side effects of chemotherapy,

whereas “cancer brain” includes cognitive problems related to many

factors involved in cancer, including stress, she explained.

“It may be helpful for patients who are fearful about cognitive side

effects of chemotherapy to know that new research suggests non-

treatment-related factors play a role,” Dr Patel added.


Pink Power Party supporting the VBCAG on Friday, August 28th at Nina McLemore

If you are looking to support women in our community with breast cancer AND can use a good shopping spree, please join us on Friday, August 28th at Nina McLemore in Vail!

Nina McLemore and Hostess Joyce Bradley invite you to a
PINK POWER PARTY to benefit The Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group Friday, August 28.

Pink Cocktails 3 – 5pm
Nina McLemore Boutique 183 Gore Creek Drive. Vail

15% of sales will be donated Aug. 28 – Sept. 3 upon request

RSVP for Cocktail Party 970.476.4809 or

High Altitude Society column: Annual Celebration of Life luncheon shines on


VAIL — On July 10, the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort was full of beautiful women dressed to the nines at the Celebration of Life Luncheon in support of the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group. These ladies who lunch — and a few great men — make a real difference in the lives of those battling breast cancer in our area. Since 1994, The Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group has played a critical role in bringing support to those diagnosed with breast cancer in Eagle County. They are dedicated to making their journey as easy as possible. Thanks to their signature event, the Celebration of Life luncheon, they have raised over a million dollars to fulfill their vision to fund those who fight this disease each day.

Board Member Brenda Himelfarb greeted the attendees and gave them an update.

“We give $500 to each person diagnosed with cancer … we have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Vail Valley Medical Center for various machines and programs. We have the ‘Shine On’ bag (full of pampering gifts), which we give to every person diagnosed. We really want to make everyone’s lives easier who are dealing with breast cancer,” Himelfarb said.

Vice President of the Shaw Regional Cancer Center Peggy Carey was invited to speak and present the check.

“Thank you and welcome everyone and thank you Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group for bringing Dr. Susan Love to talk with us today. We are lucky to have her here,” Carey said.

Dr. Love has dedicated her professional life to the eradication of breast cancer. As the chief visionary officer of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, she oversees an active research program centered on breast cancer cause and prevention.


“Thank you to all for supporting your community and your friends and neighbors,” Carey continued. “This year the funds raised will go to an automated breast ultrasound unit.”

Colleen Berga, manager at the Sonnenalp Breast Center at the Shaw Cancer Center explained that the ultrasound machine “is specifically for dense breasted women that can benefit from additional breast health surveillance and is meant to complement screening mammography. The new equipment will provide greater patient comfort, quicker scan time and a 3D reconstructed image providing more detail for our breast radiologists.”

VBCAG Board Member of seventeen years, Joyce Bradley, announced that besides herself, co-founder Brenda Himelfarb and longtime member Nikki Denton, the group is working with a whole new board of directors. The group extended their sincere gratitude to the many table organizers, sponsors and individual contributors for their generous support. Please to learn more about the group’s mission and programs.

Betty Ann Woodland covers social events including fundraisers for nonprofits, local happenings and soirees of all kinds. She can be reached at

Dietary Intervention May Prime Triple-Negative Breast Cancer for Targeted Therapy

fruits and veggies

By The ASCO Post
Posted: 7/17/2015

Methionine is abundant in meat, fish, some legumes, and nuts but low in fruits

and vegetables.

A low-methionine diet that starves triple-negative breast cancer cells of an

essential nutrient primes the cancer cells to be more easily killed by a targeted

antibody treatment, according to a study published in Clinical Cancer Research.

The study’s senior author, Vincent Cryns, MD, Professor of Medicine at the

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, said the study lays

the foundation for a clinical trial to see whether a low-methionine diet will help

improve outcomes in women with triple-negative breast cancer.

Patients with triple-negative breast cancer have limited treatment options

because their tumor cells lack the three receptors—estrogen, progesterone, and

human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)—commonly targeted in

hormone or chemotherapy.

Scientists have known for decades that methionine deficiency can block the

growth of many types of cancer, but the underlying mechanisms have puzzled


“We’ve shown that removing methionine can have a specific effect on a

molecular pathway that regulates cell death to increase the vulnerability of

cancer cells to treatments that target this pathway,” Dr. Cryns said. “What’s

particularly exciting about our findings is that they suggest that a dietary

intervention can increase the effectiveness of a targeted cancer therapy.”