As we approach the end of 2012, the Mountains of Hope Foundation wants to thank the sponsors, volunteers and friends who have supported our efforts financially and with their personal involvement to make a difference in the fight against advanced breast cancer.
We are excited to announce that since the establishment of the Foundation in 2003, we have invested more than $1.1 million in advanced breast cancer research. We have made significant investments in research projects at Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York, UCSF Carol S Buck Breast Cancer Center in San Francisco, University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, and at TGen Foundation in Phoenix.
The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. In recognition, this year the Foundation invested $100K in a TGen advanced breast cancer research project - Characterizing drug-resistant tumor clones within primary Luminal B Breast Cancer - headed by Dr. Heather Cunliffe and her research team. We are extremely proud to continue our partnership with TGen to advance the Foundation's mission and further TGen's world-class research.
Great strides have been made in treating breast cancer, most significantly with early detection. However, recent statistics provided by the American Cancer Society indicate:
- About 1 in 8 U.S. women (just under 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
- In 2011, an estimated 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 57,650 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
- About 2,140 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in men in 2011. A man's lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.
- From 1999 to 2005, breast cancer incidence rates in the U.S. decreased by about 2% per year. The decrease was seen only in women aged 50 and older. One theory is that this decrease was partially due to the reduced use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) by women after the results of a large study called the Women's Health Initiative were published in 2002. These results suggested a connection between HRT and increased breast cancer risk.
- About 39,520 women in the U.S. were expected to die in 2011 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1990 - especially in women under 50. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness
- For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
- Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. Just under 30% of cancers in women are breast cancers.
- In 2011, there were more than 2.6 million breast cancer survivors in the US.
- A woman's risk of breast cancer approximately doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. About 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it.
- About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
- The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).
- As of Jan. 1, 2009, there were about 2,747,459 women alive in the United States with a history of breast cancer. This includes women being treated and women who are disease-free.
Some additional features on our website we hope you will find useful:
- You can register on our home page to receive a monthly reminder by email to do a self-exam. From my own experience during my wife's 10-year ordeal monthly self exams and mammograms are essential in the early detection of breast cancer. It is a terrible mistake not to do monthly self exams and schedule annual mammograms - and no age is too early. This is how my wife detected her first lump, which was cancerous, and each recurrence thereafter. A lump can be detected through self-exam faster than any other means. In cases where lumps are not discovered through self-exams, annual mammograms are still the best course of catching the disease early.
- Also on our website you can access daily news on breast cancer advances, research, etc.
- Through our partnership with Su Vino Winery we are pleased to offer the Mountains of Hope collection of high-quality, custom-bottled wines. Su Vino Winery is donating a portion of the proceeds of every bottle purchased of this special limited release wine. More information, and to order, visit our website - www.mountainsofhopefoundation.org.
Finally, THANK YOU again to our friends, donors, sponsors, volunteers, research partners, and others in the Mountains of Hope circle of supporters who continue to make the Foundation stronger. As you consider your year-end tax planning, please remember that every dollar donated to the Foundation is a dollar directly invested in advanced breast cancer research. Your gifts to the Foundation are fully tax deductible.
Our sincere wishes for peace and joy this holiday season - and for good health and prosperity in the New Year.
Allen J. Gula, Jr.
Foundation Chairman & CEO
The Women of Woodlawn Estates (WOW) celebrated their 6th anniversary by having a fundraiser to support The Marilyn B. Gula Mountains of Hope Foundation.
The fundraiser was held in a backyard and included a silent auction, a Chinese auction and two trees filled with Lottery tickets.
Everything was donated by WOW members and merchants of Brecksville. Some of the generous Brecksville merchants included: Deli-4-Less, Leopold's, Vertical Runner, Bella Mia West, Clippity Clop, Bootlegger, Star Sports, 2182, Bella Toccare, Home Décor, Bartel's and Paul Duda Gallery.
Seventy-two people were in attendance and they raised $3200.
Annette Paul, Lynn's sister and WOW member, felt Lynn Gula was there with everyone that evening. Annette said, "I can't help wondering if there were more neighborhoods like ours, what a better world this would be."
More than 200,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with ‘invasive’ breast cancer this year, and more than 40,000 women will lose their lives. Despite significant advances made in understanding the behavior of breast cancer cells, we are still failing to interfere with the mechanical process of metastasis, the primary cause of death for breast cancer patients. Metastasis is the spreading of cancerous cells from the breast tissue into the blood stream or lymphatic system where they survive within the immune system and then exit at a distant organ where secondary tumors form. The mechanics of how a cancer cell achieves the ability to do this is poorly understood, and is the motivation for this investigation.
Listen to the interview here
Approximately 75% of all patients diagnosed with invasive breast cancer have hormone receptor positive disease, which means that hormones such as estrogen and progesterone act as fuel for their cancer cells to grow. There are a number of anti-hormonal agents in clinical practice that can effectively block the growth of these tumors. These drugs include Tamoxifen, Fulvestrant and aromatase inhibitors.
Gala celebrity dinner benefits advanced breast cancer research at TGen
PHOENIX, Ariz. — Feb. 6, 2012 — Cookin’ for a Cure at Eddie’s House, hosted by the Marilyn B. Gula Mountains of Hope Foundation, will raise funds for advanced breast cancer research at the non-profit Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).
Genomic Characterization of Circulating Tumor in Women With Metastatic Breast Cancer: A Rationale For Evidence Based Guidance OF Future Therapy Choices
This year alone, approximately 11,000 women will be diagnosed with Stage IV (metastatic) breast cancer. The median survival for these women is 2 to 3 years, with only 27% surviving to 5 years. Despite recent innovations including type and order of treatment, drug delivery methods and availability of targeted therapies, the ability to make the best choice for the patient who has already been treated with multiple regimens remains an extreme clinical challenge.
Since the Marilyn B. Gula Mountains of Hope inception in 2003, we've invested more than $1 million for advanced breast cancer research.
Marilyn B. Gula founded the Mountains of Hope Foundation eight years ago as a means to raise funds for advanced stage breast cancer, providing hope for women and their families who receive the dismal diagnosis. She lost her 10-year battle to breast cancer on July 26, 2006.
Marilyn's husband, co-founder and CEO of Mountains of Hope, Allen J. Gula, Jr. carried on his wife's legacy by renaming the organization in her honor and continuing her vision to “give every woman with Advanced Breast Cancer a fighting chance.”
This year alone, we've invested $75,000 at Phoenix-based TGen and $60,000 at the University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center in Ohio. The funds were raised at the fourth annual Golf for a Cure event at the Shaker Heights Country Club in Ohio and Cookin' for a Cure at Eddie's House in Scottsdale, respectively.
In total we've hosted 10 events in Arizona, Northern California and Ohio since we began in 2003. We've invested in Advanced Breast Cancer Projects at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York, UCSF in San Francisco along with TGen and University Hospitals. Al is not alone in his endeavor to find a cure for the terrible disease. He has had the overwhelming support of sponsors, donors, volunteers, committee members and friends to help achieve the organization's accomplishments.
"My heartfelt thanks to each person. The Foundation cannot accomplish its mission of investing in advanced breast cancer research without everyone's continued support. I'm extremely grateful," he said.