Celebrating Community, Love, and Happiness
Photography provided by ProScan Imaging
The power of pink was palpable.
At the 16th Annual Pink Ribbon Luncheon, guests were greeted by dozens of cheery pink balloons lining a pink-carpeted pathway leading to an afternoon of love and laughter. The Pink Ribbon Luncheon, presented by The Harold C. Schott Foundation and Trustees Tom and Francie Hiltz, is the annual October fundraiser that supports the Cris Collinsworth ProScan Fund’s (CCPF) Pink Ribbon Programs. The event is all about celebrating a community of support for all those battling breast cancer.
The Duke Energy Convention Center became the Pink Ribbon Comedy Club, where attendees enjoyed a show by stand-up comedian Tom Papa. Papa had the crowd rolling with laughter while also delivering a positive message.
“Do the little things that make you happy,” he said. “You’re doing great!”
Papa is the host of the award-winning podcast, Come to Papa, and a regular guest on Conan and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Before Papa took the stage, event emcee Cris Collinsworth highlighted the Pink Ribbon Breast MRI Program, which makes breast magnetic resonance imaging more accessible to patients who need it. Collinsworth also noted how generous donations have helped CCPF carry out its mission to fight breast cancer by providing education, support and early detection services, including free mammograms, to the community:
- Three Pink Ribbon Centers, located in Over-the-Rhine, Madisonville and Tri-County, offer women’s imaging and other breast health services. All revenue generated at these centers supports the Pink Ribbon Programs.
- The Mammogram Match Program has provided more than 3,850 free mammograms and other breast health services to eligible patients.
- The Cruisin’ for a Cure vans have provided 2,300 rides to and from appointments at the ProScan Pink Ribbon Centers.
- The Pink Ribbon Empowerment Program (PREP) provides breast health education to thousands of women.
- The Pink Ribbon Survivor Circle connects breast cancer survivors with newly diagnosed patients, offering hope along their healing journeys.
- The Pink Ribbon Bag Program has sent more than 4,500 gift bags filled with items of comfort and hope to women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I hear so many great stories about how our Pink Ribbon Bags mean the world to those just recently diagnosed,” Collinsworth said. “We’re very proud of this effort.”
The Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research received the 2017 Power of Pink Award. Maddie Spielman, daughter of the late Stefanie Spielman, accepted the award on behalf of the organization.
Honorary Chairs Bob and Suzi Brant – Cincinnati philanthropists who have generously given their time, energy and resources to the Pink Ribbon Luncheon and Pink Ribbon Programs, along with many other local non-profit organizations – gave the invocation for the event.
It may seem like a tremendously tall order to transform a breast cancer benefit into a comedy club, but the Pink Ribbon Committee knows laughter is the best medicine. A health and happiness discussion led by Robin Sacks, a University of Toronto professor heralded as an international happiness expert, kicked off the fun-filled day.
1 in 8 Women
Dr. Steven Pomeranz, radiologist and co-founder of the Cris Collinsworth ProScan Fund with his wife, Penny, and Cris and Holly Collinsworth, took a few minutes during the luncheon to share pertinent breast cancer detection facts.
“A part of our mission is to fight breast cancer by providing patients with innovative services,” Dr. Pomeranz said, noting that the three breast cancer detection tests are mammography, tomography and breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Access to all three are offered through the Cris Collinsworth ProScan Fund’s Pink Ribbon Programs.
“Mammography has been around for more than 50 years,” he says. “It’s a great test for non-dense breasted women. In this group of women, it detects 95 percent of cancers. It’s a good test because it’s fast and readily available.”
Mammography also helps identify the density of breast tissue to determine whether additional testing is necessary, Dr. Pomeranz noted. “Fatty tissue is lucent, and dense glandular tissue is very white. Unfortunately, cancer cells appear white also, resulting in some tumors going undetected with regular mammography.”
“Tomography, or 3-D mammography, improves cancer detection in dense-breasted women by up to 16 percent.” Dr. Pomeranz stated that one out of every three women has dense breasts. “Tomography is also a great test for patients at moderately high risk for cancer due to genetic factors. In other words, they’ve had a genetic test that’s positive, or they have a strong family history but negative genetic testing. This is called heredofamilial cancer.”
So, who is typically dense-breasted? “Younger women, Asian-American women, thin women, women on hormones, pregnant women and women with breast implants,” Dr. Pomeranz said. “Dense-breasted women are just simply harder to evaluate for breast cancer. But 3-D mammography is a convenient test that is now validated as more effective than standard mammography in detecting cancer in dense-breasted women.”
According to Dr. Pomeranz, breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the most accurate and best test for dense-breasted patients and women with a lifetime breast cancer risk of more than 20 percent.
“One in every eight women will develop breast cancer in their lives,” he says. “Breast MRI improves detection by up to 20 percent over tomography, and up to 30 percent over mammography in dense-breasted women. There’s no radiation, and it is extremely accurate for women with implants. Most importantly, if it is normal, there is a 98 to 99 percent chance you do not have breast cancer. So, a normal is a true normal, which is awfully comforting.”
The Cris Collinsworth ProScan Fund offers mammography, tomography and the Pink Ribbon Breast MRI program. Free mammograms are available through the Mammogram Match program for patients who qualify and the Pink Ribbon Breast MRI program covers the cost of Breast MRI for patients who are dense-breasted and qualify for the program.
Cris Collinsworth ProScan Fund is located at 5400 Kennedy Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45213. For more information, call 513.241.CURE or visit www.ccpf.org.