We talked a lot on this blog last year about biosimilars; what they are and why it’s important to know about them. With the entry of biosimilars in the breast cancer treatment landscape due later this year, there are still questions and discussions about how it will affect current and future breast cancer patients. To help understand these questions and perspectives, we decided it was important to bring together those people who are impacted the most: patients and physicians.
When you are first told you have breast cancer, your thoughts can immediately turn to your mortality and how to best save your life. You worry about how your diagnosis will affect your family, spouse or kids. More and more, the realities of the disease begin to set in and the impact it can have on your finances becomes more apparent.
World Cancer Day on February 4th gives us a chance to reflect on 2018, the work we’ve accomplished and the work that still needs to be done. This year, WCD has a brand-new message: I Am And I Will.
The Canadian Breast Cancer Network is pleased to welcome a new member to our board of directors. Cathy Hemeon of Mount Pearl, Newfoundland brings many years of experience in the health care field to her new role. She, like all CBCN board members, is also a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in February 2016 with Stage I triple positive breast cancer following a screening MRI.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from, and your experience with breast cancer.
Giving Tuesday is coming up on November 27th and we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the amazing work Canadians have done to support the Canadian Breast Cancer Network. The Annual Pink Ribbons Project Gala hosted by the Full Circle Foundation for Wellness is a perfect example of community involvement shaping CBCN’s valuable resources.
We all know how integral surgery is for the treatment of breast cancer. It’s usually the first step in treating early stages of the disease which means it can come quickly after diagnosis. The time when you’re still processing your diagnosis is also the time when you’re making some of the most important decisions about your treatment. Trying to make these decisions while learning this new, complicated language called cancer doesn’t make those decisions any easier.
No person truly understands what it’s like to be diagnosed with breast cancer until it happens to them. It can be terrifying and overwhelming and can take physical and psychological tolls on a person’s body. 1 in every 8 Canadian women will hear the words “You have breast cancer” in her lifetime and 5,000 Canadians die from metastatic breast cancer each year. That means 26,000+ women every year have to live through surgery, chemo, radiation and side effects like fatigue, depression, chemo brain, and nausea, all while balancing their work and home life. Understanding the lived experience of a diagnosis like this is imperative to improving support for patients, survivors and their families.
Together we can accomplish great things! It’s always amazing to watch how individuals coming together as one united voice can truly make a difference in the lives of others.
On May 1st and 2nd I had the pleasure of representing CBCN at an Advisory Committee meeting for the Inuit Cancer Project lead by Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada in Iqaluit, NU. This meeting gave those involved in the project an opportunity to meet face to face to discuss an overview of the project, how it was proceeding, along with an update of recent activities and roundtable discussions. These roundtable discussions included opportunities to speak about lessons learned, ways to build community engagement, community capacity and next steps.
It’s powerful what happens when patients, caregivers, and clinicians come together to look at research priorities; a broad list of questions that encompasses a variety of viewpoints emerges.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about new metastatic breast cancer treatments that can greatly extend the lives of many people in Canada. Targeted therapies are changing the landscape for mBC in a big way.
February 4th marks World Cancer Day, a global event that takes place every year uniting people around the world who are concerned about the fight against cancer. Currently, 8.8 million people die from cancer globally every year and breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
This year I was honoured to participate as a patient representative on the steering committee of the Canadian Cancer Research Conference hosted by the Canadian Cancer Research Alliance at the beginning of November.
This holiday season consider adding CBCN to your list for charitable giving! Here’s what you’ll be supporting.
CBCN is excited to announce that we’ve been awarded an international SPARC grant, Seeding Progress and Resources for the Cancer Community: Metastatic Breast Cancer Challenge, to develop a mBC Financial Resources Navigation Tool.
Increasingly the not-for-profit advocacy world has been clouded with criticism of industry funding. Many critics believe that any organization that receives funding from the pharmaceutical industry is automatically biased, but this ignores the great pains that health charities often go through to remain unbiased, ethical and credible. And it certainly does not reflect the patient-centric approach that CBCN takes.
How valuable is patient input to decision-makers and how can we work to make sure that the patient voice is really being heard? These are just some of the important questions that I and many others gathered to discuss at the annual Breast Cancer Patient Group Forum in Vienna, Austria.
Recently, I celebrated my 5-year anniversary at CBCN. The thing that has become the most evident to me over these 5 years is that every single person’s experience with breast cancer is unique. Just when I think I’ve heard every story, I meet or hear from someone new and am reminded that every person diagnosed with breast cancer in this country has their own set of experiences and challenges to overcome while dealing with their diagnosis.
This June I had the opportunity to attend the Europa Donna Metastatic Breast Cancer Advocacy Conference in Italy. The chair of our board, Cathy, was asked to speak and I was happy to join her to share with the group the advocacy that CBCN has been doing in Canada. While most of the participants that attended were representing various organizations, it was interesting learning that many of them were also women who were living with metastatic breast cancer.