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Breast Cancer 100912

Breast Cancer 100912

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Published by: tcaprood on Oct 09, 2012
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10/09/2012

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012
To our readers, Each Tuesday inOctober, the staffs of The Record in Troy andThe Saratogian inSaratoga Springs will jointly publish this spe-cial pink edition filledwith information about breast cancer aware-ness that we hope willboth inform you andinspire you.Some of you havealready sent alongideas for stories andinformation on fundraising events that you want us to publishin our National Breast Cancer Awareness Month special sections. However, please knowwe welcome all storyidea suggestions andare happy to add anynew events to our calen-dar of events. Please know we arealso happy to publish photos of the variousevents planned in honor of Breast Cancer  Awareness Month. Your informationmay be sent to Editor  Lisa Robert Lewis viaemail at llewis@troyrecord.comor feel free to call her at 518-270-1276.
Helping those battling cancer
Cancer unit director hosts event in memory of sister-in-law 
By Kathryn Caggianelli
TROY
– When Ballston Sparesident Sabrina Mousseau losther sister-in-law and best friendKaren Jensen Mousseau tobreast cancer in 2005 she vowedto do whatever she could to fur-ther the work being done locallyto provide integrative wellnesstherapies to others stricken withcancer.Karen, a lifetime RensselaerCounty resident who grew up inNassau, was the mother of twochildren and just 38 years oldwhen she lost her battle withbreast cancer — less than twoyears after being diagnosed withthe disease.Integrative therapies, includingnutritional and psychosocialcounseling, Reiki, massageacupuncture, healing touch, guid-ed imagery, prayer and journalingallowed Karen to live her life bet-ter with cancer, said Mousseau,whose career includes 16 yearsof oncology nursing.“Before Karen passed shechallenged us to provide thoseservices to others,” she said.“She grew up right here in Nas-sau and left behind family andfriends who wanted to helpachieve her vision”So Mousseau, now administra-tive director of Medical Oncologyat Samaritan Hospital, with assis-tance from Karen’s family andfriends, founded a fundraiser,“Toast to Karen” six years ago inher memory as a way to raisemoney to cover the costs associ-ated with providing those thera-pies to other cancer victims.Theyturned their focus to SamaritanHospital Cancer Center as thehub for delivering these services.“It was the logical choice,”Mousseau said. “It’s a center ofquality where all team members– nurses, therapists, administra-tion and support staff alwayspush to do more, to do better andto transform oncology care sothat it’s centered around thepatient.”In the years since its inception,the fundraiser’s name haschanged to “Visions of Strength”to represent the people the cam-paign serves.“They are the true heroes,”Mousseau explained. “They arethe people who give those of uswho work in the medical field thestrength and joy to continue to dowhat is right each day.”Toast to Karen in 2006 raisedmore than $15,000. Last year,Visions of Strength raised morethan $55,000 and the momentumcontinues to grow.“Proceeds from these fundrais-ers go directly to the IntegrativeWellness Service Line,”Mousseau said. “We providemassage therapy, healing touch,myotherapy, nutritional counsel-ing and psychosocial counselingto those who need it free ofcharge.”Mousseau and the team like-wise work with health careproviders in the community to off-set the costs associated with lesstraditional services such as Reikiand acupuncture.“We support our communitynon-profit partners that providesupportive services to ourpatients,” she said. “Thesemodalities are not covered byinsurance plans and patientsoften cannot afford them.In her years as a nurse,Mousseau has been on the front-lines of cancer a majority of thetime. She is passionate aboutmaking the lives of those with thedisease better. And she is alsopassionate about prevention.“It is heartbreaking for mewhenever I hear people shrug offan annual mammogram orprostate screening becausethese give us an opportunity tocatch cancer at its earliest stagesand the best chance of saving alife,” Mousseau said. “We havescreenings for breast cancer,prostate cancer, colon cancer,cervical and testicular cancer.Self exams are so important,too.”That these tests are cost-pro-hibitive for many people shouldnot be a deterrent, she said.“We can do free mammo-grams, ultrasounds and otherscreenings. There are programsfor that. We need to better getthe message out about that, aswell as how important it is forpeople of all ages, eventeenagers, to do self exams,”Mousseau said.She recalled a recent case oflate-stage testicular cancer in aman in his early 20s.Genes play a role in a person’spredisposition for cancer but arenot an exclusive risk factor.“Karen had no family history ofbreast cancer,” she said. “Wesee cancer in patients of all ages,regardless of heredity.”For Mousseau, the shock andfear accompanying a diagnosis ofcancer is something that evenshe is not immune to. Sherecalled how Karen’s phone callaffected her.
Cancer survivor benefits from support group and Tour de Art 
By Kathryn Caggianelli
ALBANY
– Marie Graham,68, of Loudonville was diag-nosed with breast cancer morethan two decades ago whentreatment options were lesssophisticated than what theycurrently are and mastectomieswere an accepted way to dealwith the disease.A native of North Redding,Mass., she moved to the Capi-tal District in 1978 and began acareer in retail sales that wouldspan more than 20 years.Graham doesn’t recall at whatstage her cancer was discov-ered but was told by doctorsafter testing that she had a“good size lump” and was giventhe option of a mastectomy fol-lowed up by six months ofchemotherapy.“Back then, that’s how theytreated my .kind of breast can-cer. I decided to have a mastec-tomy and after surgery was toldthe cancer hadn’t spread,” shesaid.But the radical surgery alsoincluded removal of all of thelymph nodes in her arms, as aprecaution. Years later, Grahamoccasionally suffers from sideeffects of the procedure, suchas severe swelling of her armsand cellulitis.Still, she considers that asmall price to pay for survivinga formidable disease that in theU.S. is diagnosed in approxi-mately 229,000 women and2,200 men every year and isthe second largest cancer killer,according to the American Can-cer Society.Graham’s friend SandraWood, also a Bay State trans-plant who resided in Watervlietand was her neighbor for atime, wasn’t so lucky. Wood losther battle with cancer last yearafter eight years in remission.“Her breast cancer returnedand then she was diagnosedwith another cancer she didn’tsurvive,” Graham said.Both women fought their bat-tles with breast cancer with thesupport of their families andfriends. And they were amongthe first members to join Circleof Hope, a non-profit organiza-tion in Albany founded to offersupport and assistance towomen who are diagnosed withbreast cancer or in remission.Last year, after losing herfriend, Graham was asked tobecome a board member of Cir-cle of Hope.“I was so honored to beasked,” she said. “Circle ofHope has been a wonderfulhelp to me and I know howmuch it can help other women.”Circle of Hope was foundedin 2004 to bring breast cancersurvivors together so they cangain confidence and strength bysharing their experience withothers who are going throughthe same thing, according toinformation found at www.crcir-cleofhope.org.Graham has counseled anumber of women through theyears, simply by sharing herown story. One of the most fre-quently asked questions sheanswers is how she handled theside effects of her treatment,she said.“When women come to thisgroup for the first time they arefull of fear about their cancer,”Graham said. “But after we alltalk about what we’ve beenthrough, and I am called upon alot because I‘ve been survivingfor 20 years now, they start tofeel more confident about han-dling it.”Graham in November will cel-ebrate her 50th weddinganniversary with her husbandDonald.“When I first found out I hadbreast cancer I never imaginedI would be around to see my50th wedding anniversary. But Icouldn’t have done it withoutthe support of my husband, mydaughter, the rest of my familyand friends. A support group ofany kind is so important.”Plastic Surgeon StevenLynch, a Troy native, has dis-covered breast cancer in abouta dozen of his breast reductionpatients. For the 4,000 breastreductions he’s performed thatnumber is still staggering.“Breast cancer can strike ayoung woman of 20 as well as awoman who’s 90 years old,”said Lynch, whose practice iswith The Plastic Surgery Groupat 1365 Washington Avenue inAlbany. “You want to catch it atStage 1, before it has a chanceto spread anywhere and thereis the best possible chance oftreating it.”“Don’t ever ignore a lump ofany size, no matter how small,”he added.As of now, there really is nocure for breast cancer, Lynchsaid. Therefore early detectionremains the best weapon in
Mike McMahon photo
Sabrina Mousseau is administrative director of Medical Oncology atSamaritan Hospital in Troy. Mousseau lost her sister-in-law and breastfriend Karen Jensen Mousseau to breast cancer in 2005.
 Visions of Strengthevent slated Oct. 18
The sixth annual Visions ofStrength, an annual fundraiserheld in conjunction with theKaren L. Mousseau Fund, is slat-ed for Oct. 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. atThe Hilton Garden Inn, 235Hoosick St. in Troy.This year's event, sponsoredby the U.W. Marx ConstructionCompany, will feature a winetasting and silent auction.Along with offering a variety ofwines and vintners, the fundrais-er will boast a selection of uniqueitems as part of the silent auc-tion, including exclusive pack-ages valued at more than $1,000each.A weekend stay in Lake Placid,Yankees Legacy Club tickets to2013 games (with private park-ing), assorted sports memorabiliaand a private wine dinner foreight at Arlington House in WestSand Lake are some silent auc-tion items.Tickets are $60. For moreinformation or to attend call 518-271-3500.
SeeVISIONS, Page 3
Photo provided 
Circle of Hope board member Marie Graham of Loudonville, left,poses with her friend Sandra Wood of Watervliet, who later died of cancer.
See SUPPORT, Page 3
“When women come to this group for the first time they are full of fear about their cancer,”Graham said. “But after we all talk about what we’ve been through, and I am called upon a lot because I‘ve been surviving for 20 years now,they start to feel more confident about handling it.”
Marie Graham
A Loudonville resident, breast cancer survivor andboard member of Circle of Hope
 
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
 
combatting the disease.“It’s so important forevery woman to do self-exams. She really needsto get to know her breastso that when and if achange occurs, she willbe aware of it right away,”he said.Remaining vigilantincludes scheduling andkeeping annual physicals,gynecological exams andmammograms.In between annualcheck-ups, potential signsof trouble to look out forinclude; nipple dischargeof any kind, crustinglesions in the nipple,breast changing color,dimpling of the breast,according to Lynch.Lynch and his col-leagues recently kickedoff their grand openingevent for Art de Cure, fea-turing work from localartists to be sold as a par-tial fundraiser for Circle ofHope.More than a dozen localartists contributed to Artde Cure, a local non-profitthat unites art and medi-cine for the benefit ofcharities throughout theCapital Region.This year, Graham andthe other members of thatbreast cancer supportgroup will receive 40 per-cent of proceeds from thesale of works of art.The funds will pay foroutings, meetings andmyriad activities sched-uled by Circle of Hopedesigned to empower itsmembers and help themdeal with their journeywith cancer.
BALLSTON SPA
Pink Hair for Hope washeld at the Ballston SpaHigh School.Staff and studentsshowed their support forthose who battle breastcancer by donating $10to get a pink hair exten-sion. Ms. Carol's Salon,Carol Hannah, donatedtwo days of her timeaway from her salon tohelp BOCES studentsapply the extensions.The program was start-ed by Marie Rossi, librari-an, and social studiesteacher Marissa Owens.First year students atBOCES were taught howto apply the extensionsand learn valuable com-munication skills forworking on the field.Hours used for the exten-sions were added to theirsalon hours needed forgraduation.Ninety percent of thedonations go to breastcancer research, Nation-al Breast Cancer Foun-dation and the AmericanCancer Society's MakingStrides Against BreastCancer. Rossi said manythanks to Hannah for hertime and ordering thehair extensions, whichcan only be done by ahairdresser.Kennon McCollum,11th grade BOCES stu-dent, said it was goodworking with other peo-ple. He learned how tobe more open with thecustomers asking themwhere they would liketheir extension placed.He said he was scared atfirst, but it became easieras the day went on.Last year they raiseabout $2,000.Hannah is continuingto put in extensions ather salon at 132 MiltonAve., Ballston Spa, 885-9483.
— Erica Miller 
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Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Erica Miller photo
BOCES student Kennon McCollum, an 11th grader,works on attaching a pink hair extension to the hair of Samey Abdhul-Haqq during the two-day Pink Hair for Hope fundraiser for breast cancer awareness held atBallson Spa HIgh School.
Staff and students show support for those battling breast cancer
Erica Miller photo
BOCES student Wade Blaauboer, an 11th grader, works on attaching a pink hairextension to the hair of Enrique Marte during the two-day Pink Har for Hope fundrais-er for breast cancer awareness held in the library at hte Ballston Spa High School.
“I am in the ‘business’of cancer,” Mousseausaid. “You think you canhandle that call, that youcan be strong and be the‘rock.’ If you think that,you are kidding yourself.Cancer still takes thingsaway, even when youknow the disease, thediagnosis and the treat-ments it still causes fear.”According to the Ameri-can Cancer Society,approximately 229,000new cases of breast can-cer are diagnosed eachyear in women in theU.S., while 2,200 casesare diagnosed in men.For many women,breast cancer is one ofthe most feared diag-noses, according to Dr.Vinita Singh, MedicalOncologist at SamaritanHospital's Cancer Treat-ment Center.“Fear leads to concernsabout body image,chemotherapy and radia-tion therapy, surgery anddeath, The exact cause ofbreast cancer is not clear-ly known," she said. "Fur-thermore, there is current-ly no cure for advanceddisease, and there is nodefinitive way of prevent-ing it."Breast cancer is thesecond leading cause ofcancer deaths amongwomen in the U.S. One inevery eight women in theU.S. develops breast can-cer. The risk is even high-er for women with previ-ous breast cancer, thosewho have relatives in theirimmediate family withbreast cancer, those withmultiple family memberswith cancer and thosewho have inherited cancergenes, Singh said."Screening exams forearly detection are thebest way to find cancersbefore they start to causesymptoms," she said."With screening and earlydetection we have theability to save lives anddecrease a woman'sexposure to the harshtreatments associatedwith later stage breastcancer."Breast cancers foundduring screening examsare more likely to besmaller and still confinedto the breast. Yearlyscreening mammography,beginning at age 40 forwomen of average risk isessential to early detec-tion and cure, Singh said."Mammography screen-ing should be done ataccredited breast centersand Breast Centers ofExcellence, such as theWomen's Health Center atSamaritan Hospital," shesaid. "Our knowledge ofhow breast cancer devel-ops is expanding rapidly.Lifestyle changes, healthydiet and exercise are justa few ways to reduce therisk of developing breastcancer. But the singlemost important strategy inimproving survival is stillbreast cancer screeningand early detection."Singh urged women tohave candid conversa-tions with their physicianabout their risk, and tobecome their own bestadvocate regarding theirhealth care. If diagnosedwith cancer, seek outoncologists who will investthemselves in each caseand care deeply for theircommunity and thepatients they serve, shesaid.
 Visions ...
Continued from 1
Support ...
Continued from Page 1
Photo provided 
Carol Hesselink, a contributing artist to Art de Cure, ispictured with one of her works of art titled “Summer Funat the Lake.Partial proceeds from the event will benefitCircle of Hope.

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