Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer after skin cancer among women in the US – 30% of newly diagnosed cancers will be breast cancer. Next to lung cancer, breast cancer death rates are the highest. And here are a few more unsettling facts:
Roughly 1 in 8 women in the US (or about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in her life.
It is estimated that, in 2019, 268,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women in this country, as well 62,930 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.
In addition, around "2,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2019." (From BreastCancer.org)
dire as all that sounds, there is
some good news. After
increasing for two decades, US breast cancer rates began to decline
in 2000, dropping by a full 7% in just one year from 2002 to 2003. In
addition, although "41,760 women in the U.S. are expected to die
in 2019 from breast cancer, . . . death rates have been decreasing
since 1989. . . . These decreases are thought to be the result of
treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and
increased awareness" (BreastCancer.org).
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Treatment Center is at the forefront
of those treatment advances. And they are able to provide this
critical treatment in large part because of groups like Cancer Link –
an all-volunteer group that has raised over $3 million to promote
breast cancer research at Sylvester and has made major contributions
in promoting breast cancer awareness and early detection.
Cancer Treatment and Research at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer
Sylvester is a
university-based cancer center bringing hope to cancer victims,
including breast cancer victims, through cutting edge, research-based
treatment, for example . . .
At Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University of Miami Health System, "physicians and scientists apply research breakthroughs from the laboratory to the patient's bedside.
Sylvester closely evaluates the effectiveness of new treatments, and shares clinical insights with laboratory investigators, leading to improvements that benefit patient care." This is a reciprocal kind of research-and-treatment process known as "translational research."
type of translational research is the cornerstone of our
comprehensive cancer center, providing us the ability to accurately
treat a wide range of cancers across 15 site diseases and from stage
one to stage four. Sylvester patients also have the opportunity to
participate in groundbreaking clinical trials that offer new
treatment approaches and help the scientific community answer
questions about new ways of using existing drugs to fight cancer."
Recently, a sixth satellite facility was opened "as a core component of of the Lennar Foundation Medical Center on UM's Coral Gables campus. Sylvester physicians provide a wide range of patient services at the new ﬁve-story, 206,000-square-foot diagnostic and treatment center. The ground ﬂoor houses diagnostic imaging and radiation oncology services, including an advanced linear accelerator and a CT simulator. The center’s second ﬂoor is dedicated to ambulatory surgery care for a wide range of conditions, including cancer, featuring six general operating rooms, two rooms for special procedures and three GI/ endoscopy suites."
addition to the broad range of multidisciplinary cancer care that
clinical trials, medical oncology, radiation oncology, imaging and
support services," this
also offers the latest minimally invasive procedures in
state-of-the-art surgical suites, leading to faster recovery, lower
infection rates and less post-procedure discomfort." And
the Lennar facility was designed to promote patient healing and
general well being. This is accomplished by means of architectural
such as floor-to-ceiling windows and a fifth-story outdoor terrace
overlooking Coral Gables to achieve a light-infused environment
conducive to healing.
is just one Sylvester facility, but it should give you a good idea of
what they do and how they do it.
Cancer Institute Designation
When a cancer-treatment center earns the National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation, you know they're doing a lot of things right. Just a few months ago, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, was awarded the prestigious NCI designation from the National Cancer Institute.
this means – this NCI designation – is that Sylvester has been
recognized as one of the top
US cancer centers and is now among a very select group. For there are
only two such NCI-designated cancer centers in Florida and only 71
criteria for this designation included outstanding and applied
research, top-notch patient treatment in clinics and hospitals, and
outreach to medically underserved communities with innovative
prevention strategies. With this excellence on the
fronts of research, clinical care, and community outreach, Sylvester
provides south Florida (and beyond) patients with the most advanced
treatment and care possible. And now the center has been nationally
recognized for this excellence.
the achieved excellence and the NCI-designation have not been earned
on the medical front alone. Fundraising
groups like Cancer Link also played a major role in Sylvester's
earning the NCI designation. Centers like Sylvester must have
support, particularly financial support, to accomplish what they do.
And Cancer Link provides that crucial support.
Cancer Link – Passion and
Commitment Supporting Breast Cancer Research, Treatment,
and Early Detection
what is Cancer
is an "a
non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to finding an
ultimate cure for breast cancer through research, spreading breast
cancer awareness through education, improving the quality of
treatment for those suffering from the disease, and growing and
fostering the community outreach at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer
Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The
Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute at Sylvester has significantly
benefited from the continuous support of Cancer Link which has
sponsored key research studies and further advancements to breast
cancer bedside treatment. Cancer Link has raised more than $3
million to support breast cancer research at Sylvester through
sponsorship, major annual luncheons, and several events throughout
the year with its various community partners."
(Check out this video on their Facebook page.)
though, Cancer Link is more
passion and commitment and transparency. And it
all started just a little over 30 years ago . . .
This all-volunteer organization was founded those many years ago by Marlene Berg. She is now 81 years old and remains, according
president and committee member Mary Rosenberg, "the light and
driving force of Cancer Link."
Link began as an effort to help a friend suffering from breast
cancer. Marlene and nine of her friends got together and hosted a
luncheon to raise funds to help their friend and to help the cause.
At that first fundraising luncheon, they raised a couple thousand
dollars and donated it to research. After that initial big push,
though, it sort of fizzled. But Marlene and friends were soon called
back because money
was so desperately needed in the fight against breast cancer.
of today, Cancer Link has raised over $3 million to fund research,
promote early detection, raise awareness, and move toward a cure. And
almost every bit of the money they raise goes to the breast cancer
cause. It is, as we mentioned, an all-volunteer organization, so
there are no salaries to pay out of money collected. Members also
work out of one another's homes, so expenses are kept to the barest
also impressive about Cancer Link is the long-term commitment and
profound involvement of members. There is, of course, Marlene who has
been at it for 30+ years. And 10 of the past presidents are still
active, this year helping with the annual luncheon. In addition,
membership comprises breast cancer survivors, those currently
battling cancer, and some who have never had it.
Rosenberg, for example, was asked to attend a Cancer Link meeting a
few years ago. She did . . . and was hooked. Now, she is a
(two-year term) and
an active committee member, as well as a driving force behind the
annual luncheon. Mary said she likes the opportunity it affords her
to work with people and that she is "now totally involved."
that brings us to this year's big fundraiser – the "Country
Pink" luncheon in October.
Luncheon – The Main Fundraiser for Breast Cancer Research
Cancer Link has other fundraising events and efforts – such
as partnering with Temple Beth Am for a sponsored walk and with
the women's golf club at Deering Bay Bolf & Country club for a
golf tournament – the
annual luncheon is the
big blowout and main fundraiser. How big is it? Well, in past years
they averaged 730 luncheon attendees. Although that number has fallen
off some in recent years owing to hurricane destruction of the venue,
are picking back up.
this year's October luncheon, with a "Country Pink" theme,
is expected to be a resounding success.
"The non-profit Cancer Link will be holding its annual fundraising luncheon, Country Pink, on October 15, 2019, at the Hilton Miami Downtown. The event includes a silent auction, a performance by the Shane Duncan Band, fashions by Zambony Couture and a gift bag. The event starts at 10:00 am. Approximately 600 attendees are expected" (Miami's Community Newspapers).
more though . . .
Link members, Mary assured us, strive to make this event a "happy,
celebration luncheon." To that end and in keeping with the
country part of the "Country Pink" theme, the band
will be a country band, and there will be cowboy hats for attendees
to wear. And for the pink part – the emblematic breast
cancer-awareness color – there will be pink
bandanas as part of the napkin/table setting.
in mind, too, that while attendees pay for part of the meal,
everything else is donated. And this means that nearly all the
proceeds go to the breast cancer cause. So at the end of the year
Cancer Link picks the doctors and researchers to donate to. In fact,
the money raised by Cancer Link often serves as seed money for
researchers to get started on special projects.
think it's going to be exciting? Just take a look at this year's
invitation letter . . .
Link is delighted to announce that our annual luncheon will be held
on Tuesday, October 15th at the Miami Hilton Downtown. All funds
raised from this event will benefit the Braman Family Breast Cancer
Institute at University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer
Center and will help provide research for the millions of people
affected by breast cancer.
so excited about the luncheon and would love for you to get involved
to support this important cause Last year’s luncheon raised over
$200,000 for UM/Sylvester breast cancer research. We are looking for
auction and raffle donations for this event. As a donor you will
receive University of Miami in-kind credit and acknowledgment in the
event program. The enclosed sheet provides additional information on
how to make your donation.
expecting over 500 people to attend this luncheon enjoying a
magnificent show, silent auction, amazing raffle and more. This is
truly an inspirational afternoon not to be missed! If you have any
questions or need further information, please call Susan Kaufman at
(305) 528-2310 our Auction Committee Chair or Stephanie Fojo at (305)
274-4772 from Eventures Special Event Productions. We hope you'll
help us with a donation to this exciting luncheon. Your support can
provide hope to millions of people!
Breast Cancer Bandanas from Wholesale For Everyone
about those 700 pink bandanas . . .
asked Mary where she got all those pink bandanas. Her ready response
found Wholesale For Everyone online and choose them as the exclusive
bandana supplier for Cancer link because of the great prices and
because they actually had the color she needed. In addition, when the
bandanas arrived, she was impressed by the neat packing. Mary was,
she said, "ecstatic."
addition, Mary was pleased with the "fantastic product and quick
delivery." What really sold her, though, was the fact that
Wholesale For Everyone was so easy to work with. Mary spoke to Dan,
the owner, on the phone, and she said that "he was a
Involved and Help Find the Cure
it all boils down to is that Cancer Link volunteers are helping to
find a cure for breast cancer. And you can help them do just that.
are always welcome, or you can take advantage of the sponsorship
opportunities. Or if you're in the area and would like to attend
a fun luncheon, buy
a ticket and go.
Cancer Link’s mission is to ensure funding for breast cancer research, education, early detection and community outreach programs at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.