Casting for Recovery, New Hampshire and Vermont 2020

NHBCC is proud to announce the New Hampshire and Vermont Casting for Recovery Retreats in 2020.

Casting for Recovery provides healing outdoor retreats for women with breast cancer at no cost to participants.  The Retreats focus on healing, wellness, support and incorporate fly fishing!

2020 Retreat Calendar

Please apply to only one retreat.

May 15-17, 2020
*Apply by March 8, 2020
Commodores Inn, Stowe, VT

June 19-21, 2020
*Apply by April 10, 2020
Barbara C. Harris Center,Greenfield, NH

For information on the Greenfield, NH retreat, please contact:
Wendy Gawlik
(802) 688-3177
Also visit:

The National Breast Cancer Coalition, founded in 1991, is based on the fact that breast cancer is not only a medical issue, but also a political one.  Every aspect of fighting breast cancer is grounded in politics, from federal funding for breast cancer research to access to quality health care for all to holding elected officials accountable for making breast cancer a priority issue.

With the 2020 Presidential election approaching, the National Breast Cancer Coalition is reaching out to candidates with a Public Policy Platform to endorse and sign.  The Platform states that as candidates (and as a possible President of the United States), the individual would:

•   support adequate and transparent funding for breast cancer research;

•   support access to quality health care for all, including preservation of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act;

•   ensure that educated advocates participate where decisions about breast cancer are made.

Candidates are appearing frequently in New Hampshire and Iowa where NBCC Field Coordinators Nancy Ryan and Christine Carpenter, respectively, are attending events and inviting them to sign the Platform.

The list of Democratic candidates, once up to twenty-four, has narrowed slightly.  However, the list of signers is still long!

As of February 2, 2020, twenty-two candidates signed NBCC’s Public Policy Platform:


Beto O’Rourke

Pete Buttigieg

Elizabeth Warren

John Hickenlooper

Julián Castro

Cory Booker

John Delaney

Andrew Yang

Kirsten Gillibrand

Seth Moulton

Marianne Williamson

Bernie Sanders

Bill de Blasio

Amy Klobuchar

Steve Bullock 

Joe Sestak

Tim Ryan

Tulsi Gabbard

Joe Biden

Kamala Harris

Tom Steyer

Deval Patrick


If you would like to help “birddog” candidates in New Hampshire, please contact NHBCC at 603-659-3482.  Thanks!

Great news!

The New Hampshire Breast Cancer Coalition (NHBCC) is authorized to sell special decals with our logo that can be placed on a new type of license plate called the “Decal Plate.”  The NHBCC Decals can only be placed on a Decal Plate.

Click Here for what you need to know to obtain your Decal Plate and the NHBCC Logo Decal.

There are two ways to request your NHBCC Logo Decal:


Order your NHBCC Logo Decal and pay using PayPal with the following button:



Click Here to download the Order Form to request your NHBCC Logo Decal. When you complete filling out the Order Form, mail to:

NHBCC, 18 Belle Ln, Lee NH 03861

Here is what the decal looks like!

Continental Academie of Hair Design in Hudson, New Hampshire, raised $1,000 for the NH Breast Cancer Coalition Support Services Fund during their 2019 Breast Cancer Awareness Month outreach.  Our sincere thanks for your support!


Merchants Auto in Hooksett, New Hampshire, presented $2,400 to the New Hampshire Breast Cancer Coalition Support Services Fund.  NHBCC thanks Merchants, staff and customers, for this outstanding October fundraiser!

Pictured here are Miro Radujkovic (General Manager), Nancy Ryan (NHBCC) and Scott Rienert, General Sales Manager, & Nancy presenting Miro with a placque of our appreciation.


Thank you, Hannaford Supermarkets and New Hampshire shoppers for another outstanding point of sale fundraising event in October 2019.  Shoppers throughout the state donated $2 or $5 at checkout and the grand total was $5,782.75.  Added to a $2,500 donation earlier in the year, Hannaford’s support will go to work immediately to help New Hampshire breast cancer patients with critical expenses as they navigate treatment and recovery.

Our sincere thanks!

During the month of December 2019, the New Hampshire Breast Cancer Coalition will receive a $1 donation for every $2.50 Community Bag sold at the Hannaford  store located at:

175 Coliseum Avenue

Nashua, New Hampshire


Thank you, Hannaford, for this outstanding fundraising program.  Everyone wins — shoppers, the environment, NHBCC and the New Hampshire breast cancer patients we help!  Thank you!



Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to Liberty Energy Utilities for your October 2019 fundraising!  Your $10,000.00 gift will help many New Hampshire breast cancer patients who are struggling to pay their daily bills as they go through diagnosis and treatment.  Our sincere thanks!

Check out the NHBCC Photo Gallery for all the “Pink-Tures!”



Our sincere thanks to Mr. Mac’s Macaroni and Cheese for another year of outstanding fundraising for NHBCC.  The Take and Bake sales garnered $2,000.00 for the NHBCC Support Services Fund.  NHBCC is so grateful!

Check out Mr. Mac’s Check Presentation 2019 here!

Thirty-eight states have passed legislation mandating that a woman’s mammogram report include information about her breast density.  The Food and Drug Administration has been mandated to make sure all mammography reports include this information.  However, why this focus on breast density?  The National Breast Cancer Coalition published the following informative response in its recent “Call To Action” newsletter:


The National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) is an evidence-based organization. What does that mean? We do NOT want women and men to get advice and information that is based on hope or assumptions. They deserve recommendations that are based on scientific evidence when it exists and to be told when it does not.  To do otherwise risks creating unnecessary harm. This is an important concept not just for the public, but for Congress as well. Legislators must stop enacting laws that fly in the face of scientific evidence.

On February 15, 2019, Congress passed a funding bill[1] that ended the longest ever Federal government shutdown. Unfortunately, this bill did many other things, including issuing a mandate to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about mammography screening and breast density reporting. Specifically….

The Committee recognizes the importance of patients receiving their own personal medical information and directs the Food and Drug Administration to ensure that mammography reports and summaries received by patients and their providers include appropriate information about breast density specified by the Secretary, including, at a minimum, the effect of breast density in masking the presence of breast cancer on a mammogram, the qualitative assessment of the provider who interpreted the mammogram, and a reminder to patients that individuals with dense breast tissue should talk with their providers if they have any questions or concerns about their summary“ (emphasis applied).

Why does Congress want you to know if you have dense breasts?  There really is no good reason. Unfortunately, as of May 2019, a total of 38 states and the District of Columbia have passed varying legislation requiring that women with dense breasts be notified about their breast density. Now the United States Congress wants to make the same mistake and raise it to the national level.

So, what is appropriate information in this instance?

What is Breast Density

Dense breasts are defined by how they appear on a mammogram using the American College of Radiology’s (ACR’s) Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BIRADS). This system classifies breasts as “almost entirely fatty,” “scattered fibroglandular densities,” “heterogeneously dense,” or “extremely dense.” With those classifications, approximately 43 percent of all women between the ages of 40 and 74 years have dense breasts (either “heterogeneously dense” or “extremely dense). The problem with this system is that there is considerable variability and subjectivity among radiologists in classifying breast density for patients. Studies have shown that density status is reclassified on subsequent examination for 1 in 5 women (23%) by the same radiologist, and for 1 in 3 women (33%) by a different radiologist.[2] Why should we care?

Breast Density and Mammography

Much of the push for notification is based on the assumption that if you have dense breasts, a mammogram is less likely to “find” a lump.  The thought is, if you have dense breasts and a normal mammogram, you should have additional screening. Of course, that will result in harm to women and significant unnecessary cost to the system, but what benefit would it have? One recent analysis[3] looked at the impact in New Jersey of density reporting requirements on the use of additional screening following normal mammograms in women with high density breasts. It demonstrated a 651 percent increase in the use of ultrasounds for supplemental screening, and a 59 percent increase in the use of breast MRIs. This has huge cost implications for the U.S. health care system when one considers how common dense breast are (43% of all women).[4]

While these additional imaging procedures can detect a small number of cancers missed by mammography, they will also dramatically increase the number of false-positive results which lead to additional procedures, including unnecessary biopsies and their associated risk. And we can’t ignore the potential risks that supplemental screening modalities themselves pose to patients, such as the use of gadolinium contrast required for breast MRI which has been associated with nephrogenic systemic fibrosis in patients with acute kidney injury or chronic kidney disease,[5] and more recent research has shown that IV gadolinium exposure may be associated with neuronal tissue deposition, even with normal renal function.[6] Likewise, harms from digital breast tomosynthesis could come from additional breast radiation exposure.[7]

This proposed national rule change will almost certainly expand the already too high rate of breast cancer testing and overdiagnosis[8] (~20%)—the identification of slow-growing, harmless cancers that won’t kill a person and don’t need to be found and treated in the first place, with resulting over treatment. This is simply not acceptable without solid evidence of benefit in patient-relevant survival outcomes. It may benefit the medical imaging community and oncologists, but not women.

Breast Density and Risk of Dying of Breast Cancer

If a woman has dense breasts is she more likely to die of breast cancer? No. Scientific studies have shown that among women ultimately diagnosed with breast cancer, increased breast density is not related to breast cancer death.[9] [10] [11] [12] [13]

In 2012, investigators10 actually studying this question using data from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) concluded that high mammographic breast density is notassociated with increased risk of death from breast cancer or death from any cause after accounting for other patient and tumor characteristics. Likewise, in 2018 another group of researchers using data from the Population-Based Research Optimizing Screening Through Personalized Regimens (PROSPR) consortium similarly demonstrated that breast density is not associated with breast cancer that has a poorer prognosis.[14] Both of these studies are consistent with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) conclusions in the comprehensive synthesis it prepared on this topic in 2016.8 Thus, the requirement to provide notification about the status of breast density lacks any supporting evidence to do so, and in such a limited context is likely to be confusing, anxiety-provoking, and not at all informative for patients.

Breast Density and Risk of Getting Breast Cancer

Does having dense breasts raise your risk of getting breast cancer? Some evidence suggests that it may pose a small risk, but there are many known risk factors, most of which, including density, cannot be changed. Moreover, breast density ranks much lower in terms of absolute risk compared to other risk factors: age, family history, obesity, genetics; notifying patients about their breast density elevates this one risk factor out of context. Moreover, women receiving normal or low breast density assessments may erroneously be given a false sense of security and not consider their other more important individual risks… assuming of course they can do something about them, other than worry.

FDA must involve educated advocates in determining how to respond to this Congressional mandate, including the drafting of ANY information that will be provided to patients. Moreover, information to be included in the lay summary that is ultimately given to patients must explain the limitations of mammography and other screening modalities, the potential for overdiagnosis and overtreatment and the fact that there is no evidence that information about breast density would lower risk of getting or dying of breast cancer. Or have any benefit at all.

[1] Hoeven  J. Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill of 2019, S 115-259, 115th Cong, 2nd Sess (2018). Accessed May 23, 2019.

[2] Sprague BL, Gangnon RE, Burt V, Trentham-Dietz A, Hampton JM, Wellman RD, et al. Prevalence of mammographically dense breasts in the United States. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014;106.

[3] Sanders LM, King AB, Goodman KS. Impact of the New Jersey Breast Density Law on Imaging and Intervention Volumes and Breast Cancer Diagnosis. J Am Coll Radiol. 2016 Oct;13(10):1189-1194.

[4] Sprague BL, Gangnon RE, Burt V, Trentham-Dietz A, Hampton JM, Wellman RD, et al. Prevalence of mammographically dense breasts in the United States. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2014;106.

[5] Fraum TJ, Ludwig DR, Bashir MR, Fowler KJ. Gadolinium-based contrast agents: A comprehensive risk assessment. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2017 Aug;46(2):338-353.

[6] McDonald RJ, McDonald JS, Kallmes DF, et al. Intracranial Gadolinium Deposition after Contrast-enhanced MR Imaging. Radiology. 2015 Jun;275(3):772-82.

[7] Miglioretti DL, Lange J, van Ravesteyn N, et al. Radiation-induced breast cancer and breast cancer death from mammography screening. AHRQ Publication no. 14-05201-EF-5. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2015.

[8] Welch HG, Prorok PC, O’Malley AJ, Kramer BS. Breast-Cancer Tumor Size, Overdiagnosis, and Mammography Screening Effectiveness. N Engl J Med. 2016 Oct 13;375(15):1438-1447.

[9] Siu AL. Screening for breast cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Ann

Intern Med. 2016;164(4):279–296.

[10] Weinstein SP, Localio AR, Conant EF, Rosen M, Thomas KM, Schnall MD. Multimodality screening of

high-risk women: a prospective cohort study. JClin Oncol. 2009;27(36):6124–6128.

[11] Kuhl CK, Strobel K, Bieling H, Leutner C, Schild HH, Schrading S. Supplemental breast MR imaging screening

of women with average risk of breast cancer. Radiology. 2017;283(2):361–370.

[12] Berg WA, Zhang Z, Lehrer D, et al. Detection of breast cancer with addition of annual screening ultrasound or

a single screening MRI to mammography in women with elevated breast cancer risk. JAMA. 2012;307(13):1394–1404.

[13] Gierach  GL, Ichikawa  L, Kerlikowske  K,  et al.  Relationship between mammographic density and breast cancer death in the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium.  J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012;104(16):1218-1227.

[14] McCarthy  AM, Barlow  WE, Conant  EF,  et al; PROSPR Consortium.  Breast cancer with a poor prognosis diagnosed after screening mammography with negative results.  JAMA Oncol. 2018;4(7):998-1001.