First Lady Kathy Schweiker urges Pennsylvanians to
'Make Their Mark' in fight against breast, cervical cancer
(April 3) -- On behalf of Gov. Mark Schweiker, First
Lady Kathy Schweiker today was joined by Health Secretary
Robert S. Zimmerman Jr. to announce more than $200,000
in grants to six scientists at Pennsylvania cancer-research
centers working on developments to fight breast and
The grants were made possible by the generous support
of Pennsylvanians who donated a portion of their state
income-tax refunds to the Breast and Cervical Cancer
"I am proud to say that thanks to the generosity
of Pennsylvania taxpayers, we have raised nearly $1
million since 1998 for breast and cervical cancer-research
efforts in our Commonwealth," Mrs. Schweiker said.
"With the April 15 tax deadline fast approaching,
I remind Pennsylvania taxpayers who have not filed that
there is still time to help us reach the
$1 million mark."
The Department of Health awarded grants totaling $209,865
to six scientists from cancer-research centers statewide.
Scientists receiving state funding for breast and cervical
cancer research are:
· Lewis A. Chodosh, M.D., Ph.D., University
of Pennsylvania, $34,975 to research the "Special
Effects of K-Ras in the Pathogenesis of Breast Cancer";
· Per H. Basse, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh,
$35,000 to study "Treatment of Dormant Breast Cancer
· Carol V. Gay, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University,
$35,000 to study "Specificity of Breast Cancer
Cells for Bone";
· Hildegund C. J. Ertl, M.D., The Wistar Institute,
$35,000 to analyze "Vaccine Prevention of HPV-16
· Susan Lanza-Jacoby, Ph.D., Thomas Jefferson
University, $34,890 to study "Cyclooxygenase Regulation
of Angiogensis in Breast Cancer"; and
· Ronan Marmorstein, Ph.D., The Wistar Institute,
$35,000 to study the "Structural Basis for Inactivation
of the Retinoblastoma Protein by the E7 Protein from
"The research conducted through these grants
allows us to learn more about the causes, prevention,
early detection measures and treatments of breast and
cervical cancer," Secretary Zimmerman said. "This
knowledge gives us a real chance to successfully win
the fight over cancer. We want to remind Pennsylvanians
that they have the ability to make a difference in that
fight by donating to the research fund."
Secretary Zimmerman noted that of the five donation
options on last year's income-tax form, the breast and
cervical cancer-research check-off received the greatest
number of contributions and received the highest average
In 2001, nearly 27,000 Pennsylvanians chose to "Make
Their Mark" for breast and cervical cancer research
with an average donation of nearly $8 per donor. Contributions
through the donation line totaled $202,256.81.
Each grant recipient can receive up to $35,000. The
Department of Health's Cancer Control Program oversees
the grants and works with the Pennsylvania Cancer Control,
Prevention and Research Advisory Board's Income Tax
Check-Off Committee to determine how to award each year's
In 1997, former Gov. Tom Ridge established the income
tax check-off provision allowing Pennsylvanians to donate
a portion of their state tax refunds or contribute directly
to breast and cervical cancer research.
In 1999, the first year's grant recipients were announced
at the Fox Chase Cancer Center. Eleven one-year grants
up to $25,000 each were awarded to researchers. In the
second year of the program, six one-year grants up to
$30,000 were awarded. And, in the third year, eight
one-year grants up to $35,000 were awarded.
Joining Mrs. Schweiker and Secretary Zimmerman for today's
announcement were Pat Halpin-Murphy, President and Founder
of the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition and Chairperson
of the Pennsylvania Cancer Control, Prevention and Research
Advisory Board's Income Tax Check-Off Committee, and
Dr. John Glick, Director of the University of Pennsylvania
Cancer Center and Medical Oncologist specializing in
Mrs. Schweiker and Secretary Zimmerman thanked all cancer
researchers for their important work and urged Pennsylvania
taxpayers to consider donating all or a portion of their
state income-tax refund or making a direct contribution.
To make private donations to the income-tax check-off
for breast and cervical cancer research, checks should
be written to the "Breast and Cervical Cancer Research
Fund," Department of Health, Bureau of Financial
and Administrative Services, P.O. Box 90, Health and
Welfare Building, Harrisburg, PA 17108.
Nearly 13,000 Pennsylvanians are diagnosed each year
with breast and cervical cancer. Breast cancer is the
leading cancer diagnosed among Pennsylvanian women.
In 1999, 12,367 Pennsylvania women were diagnosed with
breast cancer, and 616 Pennsylvania women were diagnosed
with cervical cancer. In 2000, 2,267 women died from
breast cancer, and 193 women died from cervical cancer.
The Schweiker Administration supports several other
programs to assist women in their fight against breast
and cervical cancer. A new program took effect Jan.
1, 2002, where women diagnosed with a breast or cervical
pre-cancerous or cancerous condition are now eligible
to receive the medical treatment they need.
Gov. Schweiker's proposed 2001-02 budget also makes
Medicaid funds available to provide breast and cervical
cancer treatment to qualified low-income women who participate
in the Department of Health's HealthyWoman Project.
The Health Department's HealthyWoman Project is a breast
and cervical cancer early-detection program that provides
mammograms, breast self-examination education, clinical
breast examinations, pelvic examinations and Pap tests
for eligible women. Since the HealthyWoman Project began
screening in 1994, almost 38,000 mammograms and nearly
29,000 Pap tests have been provided. The HealthyWoman
Project, in partnership with the Rite Aid Women's Health
Foundation, the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition
and other healthcare organizations, also offers free
breast screenings during the month of May through the
"Mother's Day Mammograms" program.
Mrs. Schweiker serves as Honorary Chair of the Pennsylvania
Breast Cancer Coalition, the American Cancer Society's
(ACS) Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walks and
ACS's Daffodils Days program.
The Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition's traveling
photo exhibit, "67 Women/67 Counties" is part
of the Health Department's aggressive breast cancer
public-awareness and education campaign aimed at families,
medical professionals, government and civic leaders,
The Pennsylvania Cancer Registry is a statewide cancer
registry maintained by the Health Department. This registry
is one of the largest in the country and maintains comprehensive
statewide cancer incidence and mortality data.
For more information about cancer programs, call the
Department of Health's toll-free helpline, 1-877-PA-HEALTH,
or visit the department's website, which can be accessed
through the PA PowerPort at www.state.pa.us, PA Keyword:
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