Giving Voice to Canadians Concerned About Breast Cancer

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Our Voices Blog


Contributor : CBCN Team

Biosimilars for Cancer: Recent updates to patient treatments

Over the last few years CBCN has been working to educate patients, physicians and the broader cancer advocacy community about biosimilar therapies.  From our curated digital magazine on biosimilars to our recently released white paper Breast Cancer & Biosimilars: Recommendations on Use, Implementation and Patient Communications-CBCN is committed to raising awareness about the use of biosimilar therapies for treating breast cancer.

How your donations help support those who need it the most

It’s that time of year again! Yesterday you took advantage of all the amazing Cyber Monday deals, gearing up for the holidays and enjoying this festive season with the ones you love. It’s also the time of year where many people start to think about giving to others in need. Since today is Giving Tuesday, we wanted to give you a glimpse into the resources your donations to CBCN help support.

Tai Chi vs Qigong: What’s the difference?

Tai chi and qigong have long been popular in the cancer community to help with the effects of the disease. This week we look at these two forms of Chinese therapy, their similarities, differences and benefits.

Talking Palliative Care Part 3: Grief - Living with Loss

Life is about change and every change brings loss with it. Whenever we lose something or someone that we value, we grieve. We grieve for the past – for how things were—and we may not be able to imagine our future. Although it may not be welcome, grief can help us to find ways to live with -- and even grow from -- our losses.

Research Highlights from the European Society for Medical Oncology 2019 Conference

CBCN had the opportunity to join researchers, clinicians, manufacturers and other patients at this annual European conference to learn the latest insights and findings in cancer research. Here’s the research that we found most interesting as breast cancer patients:

The High Cost of Cancer

Living in a remote community like Labrador City, NL comes with its own challenges. We have one grocery store with very high prices, gas is $1.34/L, and we lack normal everyday amenities such as movie theatres and night clubs. Traveling out of Labrador means a very expensive plane ticket or driving 7-14 hours (depending on which direction you choose) on a partially paved highway that has often been called a cow path in some sections. The most critical challenge, however, is access to adequate healthcare. I experienced this firsthand when I was diagnosed with cancer.

Why should where you live determine your quality of care? Our new campaign highlights the differences in access to treatments for mBC across Canada

Did you know that accessing treatments for stage IV metastatic breast cancer (mBC) is not universal across Canada? We live in a country that promotes universal health care to all but accessing cancer treatment varies by each province.

A Palpable Mass

So, we could begin like all meeting group sessions do:

— Hi, hello. My name is Rebecca, I'm 37 and I have breast cancer.

— Hello Rebecca.

We could. Yeah.

Pharmacare 2019: Where do Canada’s federal parties stand on a national drug access plan?

Timely access to medications is a key concern for any breast cancer patient, but drug access in Canada has long been a minefield to navigate. Inequitable access to medications across provinces, drug shortages and long wait times to access new treatments are just some of the issues patients and their families routinely encounter in their quest for treatment. National Pharmacare-a plan to reimburse prescription medications in a similar fashion as our healthcare system-has often been proposed as a solution to many of the drug access issues that Canadians currently experience. While Pharmacare has been debated nationally for a long time, it is only recently that the idea has gained real traction and momentum.

Lived experience sets research priorities for breast reconstruction

According to breast cancer survivor Cathy Hemeon of Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, “Breast cancer patients offer up the best lived experiences and advice in terms of what the priorities should be for research.”  Cathy, a CBCN board member, was therefore very pleased to participate in a national meeting that brought together Canadian patients, caregivers, and clinicians to set the top 10 priorities for research on post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. 

Talking Palliative Care Part 2: Choosing your care

We can all agree that when it comes to making end of life decisions, comfort is one of the most important considerations. Comfort can mean different things to everyone. Staying at home for as long as possible or until death may be preferred by some people while others may feel more comfortable in a facility. If you’re unsure of what will make you most comfortable here are some things to consider. 

Finally, a travel insurance company that will cover pre-existing conditions and people living with metastatic cancer!

One of the common concerns we hear from patients and survivors is about travelling after a breast cancer diagnosis. So often, insurance companies will put strict limitations on policies for people with pre-existing conditions. And for those living with metastatic breast cancer, finding coverage can be next to impossible.

Physical therapy vs Occupational therapy: What’s the difference?

Rehabilitation is an important aspect when recovering from or living well with breast cancer. Physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) are terms we often hear when discussing rehabilitation, but we can sometimes confuse their true meanings. 

Talking Palliative Care Part 1: Symptom management and getting the most out of your palliative care team

The thing to know about palliative care is that you don’t actually need to be at end of life to get the benefits of it. Palliative care is about getting the best quality of life while living with a life-limiting diagnosis. Symptom management and maintaining your emotional well-being are key aspects in palliative care treatment.

An app that helps you during your treatment and beyond

Self-care during treatment is so important for maintaining not only a good quality of life but your sanity as well. From doctors appointments, to managing the emotional aspects of a breast cancer diagnosis, there’s a lot to juggle. We’re excited to announce our new partnership with Self Care Catalysts and our Health Storylines mobile app.

Genetic testing: the benefits, the risks, and the latest knowledge

According to Genetics Home Reference, “Genetic testing is a type of medical test that identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins. The results of a genetic test can confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person’s chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder.

Seven progressive steps to appeal a denied insurance claim

You have the stress of a breast cancer diagnosis, and now your insurance company has denied your claim.  Hang in there: you don’t have to accept the insurance company’s initial decision as the final word.  You can appeal your denied claim by following these seven steps.

Here’s what you need to know about the federal government’s Implementation of National Pharmacare report

On June 12th, the Advisory Council on the Implementation of National Pharmacare released their final report looking at the implementation of a national program to address the inequities that Canadians currently face when it comes to drug access. It outlines 60 recommendations, steps to implementation and key details on things like co-pay, budget costs, strategy for rare diseases, and impacts on patients and providers. Below, we’ve summarized these key details for you to better understand how this new plan for pharmacare would impact you and your family. 

Guided meditation at home

A few weeks ago, we discussed mind-body therapies to help relieve some of the emotional and physical side effects of cancer and treatment. This week we are sharing some guided meditations you can do in the comfort of your home.

Research Updates from ASCO 2019

There’s always interesting research updates released at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Conference – here’s what you need to know.