|Breast Cancer Help has already made much progress and has made very significant achievements. We have helped to initiate fundamental changes in our nation’s deadly indifference to breast cancer. Possibly the most significant change we have initiated is acceptance of the idea that breast cancer survivors must have a say when research funding decisions are made and policies formed. Our many accomplishments include the following:
Breast Cancer Mapping
We originated the ever-expanding mapping of breast cancer incidence in small geographic areas. More than a dozen organizations on Long Island have continued the effort to help understand the disease and its relationship with our environment. Mapping projects have started to bring new levels of awareness of breast cancer and other cancers to communities around the world.
Novalis Radiosurgery System
In 2001, Breast Cancer Help contributed $100,000 and procured an additional $250,000 through the help of local elected officials to allow Stony Brook University Hospital to purchase the first two of three modules for the Novalis Radiosurgery System.Digital Mammography System
Beginning in 2001, guaranteed a 63-month lease for the GE Digital Mammography System and began making lease payments exceeding $7,000 per month. The digital mammography system represents some of the most latest cancer detection technology available, and is currently in use at Stony Brook University Hospital.
CADstream MRI Reader
Contributed half the funds to purchase Confirma Inc’s new CADstream MRI reader for Stony Brook University Hospital. The CADstream process MRI images for a more accurate identification of the tumor if an irregularity is found during a routine mammogram.
National Action Plan to Fight Breast Cancer
Assisted the National Breast Cancer Coalition to collect the 2.6 million signatures used to petition former President Clinton, which resulted in his full commitment to a National Action Plan to fight breast cancer and a $250 million increase in federal funding for breast cancer research.
Insurance Coverage for Stem Cell Infusion
Board member Alex Fezza (whose wife, Mary, died of breast cancer) was partially responsible for changing the regulations regarding insurance coverage for stem cell infusion for Federal workers and their spouses. He accomplished this by organizing an aggressive letter-writing campaign to congress and the President.
Additional Accomplishments of Breast Cancer Help and Our Members
- Initiating the establishment of a toll-free Cancer HELPLINE at Stony Brook University Hospital and Medical Center.
- Supporting passage of the New York State law that ends the practice of drive-through mastectomies by ensuring that HMOs and insurance companies offer hospital coverage to mastectomy patients until each patient and her physician have determined the patient is ready for discharge. The law mandates insurers to provide coverage to mastectomy patients choosing to undergo reconstructive surgery.
- Spearheading the campaign to create the Breast Cancer Awareness stamp and supporting the Breast Cancer Research stamp, which donates funds to breast cancer research on every sale.
- Initiating the move to update and expand the New York State Breast Cancer Registry and to require hospital registrar certification for medical records to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the Breast Cancer Registry.
- Initiating the New York State breast and testicular cancer education bill.
- Leading the move to create the “Give a Gift to Breast Cancer” check-off on the New York State income tax form, which enables taxpayers to make a contribution to the New York State Breast Cancer Research and Education Fund, and supporting the subsequent legislation that authorizes the state to provide a dollar-for-dollar match for each contribution made to the Breast Cancer Research and Education Fund.
- Helping to launch the five-year Long Island Breast Cancer Study.
- Advocating for the establishment of the New York State Pesticide Registry.
- Advocating the establishment of a toll-free national hotline for information about the latest clinical trials related to breast cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
- Testifying at local, state, and federal hearing on the environment and its link to breast cancer and petitioning the Centers for Disease Control to explore the breast cancer epidemic on Long Island.
- Supporting passage of the New York State Adoption Bill that allows breast cancer patients to adopt children, and the New York State Neighborhood Notification Bill that requires 48-hour notice to immediate neighbors before the spraying of pesticides.