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Call to Action! Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act 

VBCF is working with like-minded organizations across the country, through the National Breast Cancer Coalition, to enact legislation to waive the 24-month waiting period for Medicare eligibility and the 5-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for individuals with metastatic breast cancer who qualify for social security disability. The median life expectancy for patients with metastatic breast cancer is just 26 months, so these waiting periods create an undue burden on the patient and their families trying to receive timely access to quality health care services.

On Thursday, June 14th, Representatives Peter King (R-NY) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) introduced H.R. 6114, the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act . The bill was introduced with 35 original cosponsors. No Virginia Representatives have yet signed on to support this bill.

How can you help?
Contact your Representative   in the House and ask them to join their colleagues by becoming an original cosponsor of this legislation. Have them contact Deena Tauster in Representative King's office at  deena.tauster@mail.house.gov  or (202) 225-7896  to become an original cosponsor. 

June is Pride Month
In honor of Pride Month this year, VBCF launched our LGBTQ+ Breast Cancer page , which provides information on breast cancer and resources for people who are LGBTQ+ with breast cancer. If you have any suggestions of other resources to add, please contact Erin Steigleder, our Education Manager, at erin@vbcf.org .
Help Us Educate Virginians in far Southwest Virginia​
​VBCF hosts ​Becky’s Place ​in Wise County at ​the ​R​emote ​A​rea ​M​edical (RAM) program​ each July in partnership with other state-based health educators. VBCF provides breast health education to ​hundreds of medically underserved and uninsured attendees as well as our partners’ education on nutrition and diabetes, tobacco cessation, and lung, colon and ovarian health​ ​information.​ We need your help to continue this programming!
State Advocacy Recap
2018 was a great year for VBCF’s state-level advocacy. With the help of our dedicated volunteer advocates, we had huge wins on two of our major legislative priorities: medicaid expansion and medical cannabis. Thank you to all our advocates who called, emailed, and met with their state legislators during VBCF’s State Advocacy days to speak out about these important issues. Policy change can be a long slog, and you stuck with it!  

Medicaid Expansion
On May 30th, the Virginia General Assembly met in a special session and passed state Medicaid expansion as part of the biennial state budget. Now nearly 400,000 low-income Virginians will have access to affordable, quality health care including breast cancer screenings and treatment. VBCF is proud to have been a part of the Healthcare for All Virginians ( HAV ) Coalition for the last six years, working to expand Medicaid. This is a great win for all Virginians.

The new Medicaid coverage will begin in early January 2019. Cover VA is designated as the main source of information for consumers and stakeholders about the new coverage.

Medical Cannabis
During the regular session, the Virginia General Assembly passed the "Let Doctors Decide" medical cannabis oil measure, and it was signed into law on March 9th by Governor Northam. Doctors in Virginia can now recommend medical marijuana if they decide it’s the best course of treatment for patients, allowing breast cancer patients access to this potentially useful tool during their treatment journey. 

Medical cannabis oil dispensaries will be set up in each of Virginia’s five health service areas. Once these facilities are operational, patients will be able to get a recommendation from their physician (hopefully by late 2019). For more information: VA NORML
New concern for those with
pre-existing conditions
In early June, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it will not defend several critical patient protections in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and instead is arguing to end them. The DOJ is siding with a lawsuit brought by 20 states that argues the ACA's individual mandate has become unconstitutional. More importantly, DOJ also says the law's provisions to guarantee coverage for people with pre-exisiting conditions should be ended. If successful, the case could leave millions of Americans with major illnesses, such as cancer, unable to obtain health care coverage. 

A coalition of 16 state attorneys general will defend the Affordable Care Act in this case, including Virginia's Attorney General Mark Herring. VBCF will be following the case closely.

For more details:

American Cancer Society Press Release: 
Request Educational Materials and Presentations for October

Though it is only the beginning of summer, here at VBCF we know that breast cancer is always important. Fall is a busy season for us with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, so if you would like VBCF to present to your group or you want to request educational materials for October , please get your requests in early.
Game-Changing Study for Early-Stage Breast Cancer
TAILORx is the largest adjuvant breast cancer treatment trial ever completed. This study definitively answers who needs chemotherapy, and reported that the vast majority of women with ER+, HER2-, node-negative breast cancer do not require chemotherapy. It relied on the 21-gene Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score test to more precisely define the benefit of chemotherapy, if any, in early-stage breast cancer.

“This is basically the culmination of a, probably, 15-year effort to try to find a more precise tool to help doctors counsel their patients on whether or not they would benefit from chemotherapy,” said Dr. Charles Geyer, a co-author on the study and director of clinical research at VCU Massey Cancer Center.

Genomic Health offers financial assistance programs for eligible patients with financial hardship Click here to learn more and see if you qualify. 
Cowgirls for a Cure
We are so grateful to Cowgirls for a Cure for their generous donation to VBCF! The 3rd Annual Cowgirls event raised $12,500 for our breast cancer education programs and advocacy. Our huge thanks to organizers Brandy Slaughter and Candice Parsley for their hard work and perseverance through the rain and mud this year. Their amazing efforts made it the most successful Cowgirls yet!
Evergreen Enterprises
Evergreen Enterprises is a Richmond based manufacturer and distributor of home decor, outdoor garden accents, gifts and more.  They donated proceeds from the sale of pink ribbons this year to VBCF. Thank you for helping us serve Virginians!
Recent Breast Cancer News
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