Monthly Archives: May, 2014

Profiles in Courage, May 2014

B., 53, from Sderot, is very ill. She has breast cancer that has metastasized throughout her body, and she will probably stop all treatment soon and enter hospice. Her only income comes from Bituach Leumi (National Insurance) and amounts to NIS 4300/month. The family has decided to move up B.’s daughter’s wedding and has requested assistance with buying B. a dress for the wedding. The Lemonade Fund awarded B. a grant to help her family with this request. We wish B. and her family a mazal tov and we wish B. peace in the days to come.

P., 33, is an immigrant from Romania living in a town north of Tel Aviv. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy treatments to shrink her tumor prior to surgery. After surgery she will need radiation treatments. P. is divorced with two young children, ages 4 and 7. Her older child is severely autistic and needs extra help, and P. can’t rely on her ex-husband or any extended family. P. told her social workers that she is concerned about money because she had to take a leave from her job as a kindergarten teacher due to the side effects of her treatments. Until now she made ends meet with her income and alimony, but without her job, money is very tight. Bituach Leumi will hopefully provide her with some benefits, but approval takes time, and P. needs help now. The Lemonade Fund awarded P. a grant to help her during this critical time, so she can hire extra childcare and focus on getting well.

Another way to help: The Lemonade Fund is currently providing two young single mothers who are in treatment, in the Sharon area (Raanana and Kfar Sava,) with a Shabbat meal once a week, on Fridays. The commitment is to provide one meal to one of the mothers, no more than once every four months. If you are interested in signing up, please write to: info@lemonadefund.org. Thanks!

To donate: https://lemonadefund.org/to-donate/

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Would you pay privately for a mammogram?

Dangerous mammogram controversy

 

NY Times article dated, May 7, 2014

 

A personal note. As one who had no family history and no symptoms, were it not for a mammogram, my breast cancer diagnosis would likely have come at a more advanced, more difficult to treat, and likely more deadly stage. This article and others like it gloss over important facts, such as our inability to discern which women are ‘at risk’ and should be covered (I wouldn’t have met the criteria,) and the personal ‘cost’ of diagnosing breast cancer at later stages (riskier treatments; more chemotherapy, more mastectomies.)

Hidden in the article is the statement that ‘Diagnostic methods these days catch most cases of breast cancer that can be effectively treated, and much of what is picked up by universal screening is over-diagnosis.‘ What are these ‘diagnostic methods?’ (Mammograms and then, if needed, sonograms and MRI’s.) Would all of these ‘effectively treated’ cases be caught if women had to pay for screening out of pocket? How much does a mammogram cost? Anywhere from $500-$2700 is typical. Where is the study showing what percentage of women would forego screening if they had to pay privately for it, and what the impact of this would be on number of diagnoses, and on staging, treatment and mortality? And as for over-diagnosis, another term that medical economists love to tout when talking about mammograms…let’s talk about how to address over-treating rather than over-diagnosis.  As one who has been diagnosed with breast cancer as the result of a mammogram, I’d prefer to have been wrongly diagnosed even if it meant having to undergo an unnecessary procedure. I would bet that 100% of the 40,000 or so women who are diagnosed each year in the US and the 4,500 who are diagnosed each year in Israel, would agree with me on this one.

One could argue, but the worst part of these discussions is the unintentional fallout. It is confusing women and they are not getting screened.

Thie controversy over mammograms will be one of the topics to be discussed at the Lemonade Fund’s WOMEN’S HEALTH AWARENESS EVENT, Monday, May 12 in Raanana.

https://www.facebook.com/lemonadefund/events

https://lemonadefund.org/2014/05/04/oops-corrected-address-for-womens-health-awareness-event/

Oops! Corrected Address for Women’s Health Awareness Event

Oops! Corrected Address for Women's Health Awareness Event

Women’s Health Awareness Event (in English) Monday, May 12, 2014.

Mammogram Controversy

Come to Lemonade Fund’s Women’s Health Awareness Evening (in English) to hear about the latest controversies about screening.

RSVP:  shari@lemonadefund.org or https://www.facebook.com/events/480634542039654/