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The Voice of People With Breast Cancer

Education

Our Voices Blog


Contributor : CBCN Team

Anxiety, PTSD and Depression: How to manage the emotional side of breast cancer

For me, hearing these words felt like I was falling into a deep pit that I had no way of crawling out of. My diagnosis wasn’t something I could negotiate or talk my way out of either—two things I am fairly good at. This lack of control and inability to change my situation hit me hard. I had to accept that cancer was my new reality, and this filled me with fear. The feelings that followed oscillated between depression and anxiety—and they weren’t fleeting.

Latest Research from SABCS 2023 – Early Stage

CBCN had the pleasure of attending the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in December. Below you’ll find the latest research for early-stage breast cancer. Watch out for the latest research on mBC.

Our Top 10 Blog Posts from 2023

In 2023, our most read blog posts reflect the interest that patients have in connecting with others, seeking support, and sharing experiences and personal stories. Diagnoses at a young age, parenting with breast cancer, living with mBC, and other personal stories made up most of our list. Lifestyle, the latest research, and different options for reconstruction fill out the topics that our readers were most interested in last year. Here CBCN presents our top 10 blog posts from 2023.

For Lorraine’s Sake

Our mother had breast cancer in her 50s, which increased her two daughters’ risk of also developing breast cancer. In 2005, my sister, Lorraine Smith, who was 41, enrolled in an early detection program and had her first mammogram. At the time, mammography reports were not disclosed to the patients, and they were not told anything about the density of their breasts, and what it means.

Advanced Breast Cancer 7th (ABC7) International Consensus Conference Round-Up

CBCN had the opportunity to attend the ABC7 conference in Lisbon, Portugal from November 9 to 11, 2023. Here are some highlights from the conference.

Single and Breast Cancer? You may be on your own, but you don’t have to go through it alone

I was single when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Freshly divorced too. I’m still single, because let’s be honest, I’m insecure about what my right boob and armpit now look like, never mind the fact that I’m still carrying 40 pounds of Tamoxifen weight. So, when I think about the idea of being naked in front of another human being, it makes me want to run upstairs into my bedroom, rip open my dresser drawers, pull out and put on every single pair of big panties, sweatpants and baggy sweatshirts I own all at the same time. But that’s the easy part. The emotional stuff is harder.

Q&E Sessions: A Surgical Oncologist Answers Your Questions About Breast Cancer Clinical Trials

In today’s post, we provide the questions that were sent in and asked during the live session of our Questions and Experts session held on October 3, 2023. In this session, Surgical Oncologist Dr. Mark Basik answers your questions about clinical trials. In the parentheses, you’ll find the timestamp of where to find the question in the on-demand video.

Breast Cancer Research Highlights from the ESMO Congress 2023

The European Society of Medical Oncology held their annual congress in Madrid, Spain from October 20-24, 2023. Members of the CBCN team had the opportunity to attend and learn about the latest research to be announced for breast cancer. Here are some of those highlights.

Can You Prevent a Breast Cancer Recurrence? No. But There Are Six Steps You Can Take That Can Help

Man, I’d be rich if I was a scientist and discovered a way to prevent a breast cancer recurrence. But I’m not. Instead, I’m a normal woman who is often riddled with worry that I’ll one day have one. I’m not thinking about this 24/7, but I am thinking about a potential recurrence often enough that the thought is a constant in my life, lurking in the back of my brain. It’s normal, I had breast cancer, I could have it again. These nagging thoughts always seem to resurface and escalate right before I’m scheduled to see my doctors for a mammogram or ultra-sound screening. And so, because I’ve been counting down the days until my next breast cancer-screening appointment, I’m having them now.

Q&E Sessions: A Medical Oncologist Answers Your Questions about Care and Considerations for Older Patients

In today’s post, we provide the questions that were sent in and asked during the live session of our Questions and Experts session held on September 19, 2023. In this session, Dr. Tina Hsu, MD, FRCPC answers all your questions about navigating a breast cancer diagnosis at an older age. In the parentheses, you’ll find the timestamp of where to find the question in the on-demand video.

Navigating Emotions, Identities, and Finding Hope

Colleen Packer of Calgary felt a wide range of emotions when she was diagnosed with metastatic lobular breast cancer in 2019: “Shock. Frustration. Fear. Grief. I sobbed. Initially in that first year, it had a really huge impact. Now it has become more routine. Now I feel a lot more in control. It’s a strange mix of feelings to have. It’s both/and. It’s possible to feel happy and sad, angry, grateful, afraid, and confident all at the same time. All those feelings are valid, and you need to provide space for all those feelings because they’re all very much a part of the experience.

Introducing the HAVEN Patient Support Program

Haven is a patient support program by Sentrex that specializes in oncology; this means our all our staff have oncology expertise. In fact, all Haven’s staff have joined Sentrex from hospital cancer centres. Haven offers certain patient support such as insurance reimbursement assistance and pharmacy services.

Paid Breast Cancer Screening: It Can be Worth the Price

Because I’m a born and raised Canadian, I just assumed I would have access to all sorts of free testing and screening when I found the hard, pea-sized lump in my right armpit. Not so much. Here’s how my breast cancer-screening steps went.

Questions & Experts: A General Practitioner in Oncology Answers Your Questions About Post-treatment & Survivorship Care

In today’s post, we provide the questions that were sent in and asked during the live session of our Questions and Experts session held on September 12, 2023. In this session, General Practitioner in Oncology Dr. Anna Wilkinson, FP, GPO answers your questions about post-treatment and survivorship care. In the parentheses, you’ll find the timestamp of where to find the question in the on-demand video.

Stronger Together: Sharing Genes and Breast Cancer Journeys

My name is Cortney Drover, and my identical twin sisters’ name is Connie Claeys. We are 37-year-old females living with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer, and being identical twins, we both carry the BRCA2 gene. Here is our story.

Metastatic Breast Cancer Should be Important to Us All

According to research from the National Cancer Institute, the number of women being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer is increasing; at the same time, these women are living longer, especially younger women. Living longer with metastatic breast cancer, a stage of breast cancer which is driven in part by out-of-control production of proteins by cancerous cells, means increased needs for services and research.

Stroke, Covid, Cancer: A Caregiver’s Struggle with Breast Cancer

Caregivers are often told, “You need to take care of yourself if you are taking care of others.” It’s so easy to say but not so easy to do. I wrote the above sentence in June 2021 for a future memoir. I had no way of knowing that 15 months later I would be writing about a new challenge. Before I can share my breast cancer story, I need to set the scene.

Free Your Mind: Five Must-know Free Psychotherapy Resources

A breast cancer diagnosis can leave you feeling winded, like you’ve been socked in the stomach and can’t breathe, or even think for that matter. That’s how I felt. I had no emotion, no tears and no anger when I first heard the words “you have breast cancer.” My mind and body simply froze and everything around me, including my mind, went hazy. I attribute this now to shock, which, in my opinion, is a fairly reasonable reaction to receiving such life-changing news. And while the haziness eventually wore off, the surrealness of my new reality remained overwhelming.

How Breast Cancer Transformed Colleen’s Leadership Career

If you found out that you had a life-limiting illness, would you tell your colleagues at work? If you did, would they think you’re less capable of doing your job? That was the dilemma that Colleen Packer faced when she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2019.

World Breast Cancer Research Day

In May 2021, The Dr. Susan Love Foundation, one of the top breast cancer research organizations in the United States, announced that every year, August 18th would be known as World Breast Cancer Research Day. The 18th was chosen as a representation of the 1 in 8 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. The Foundation also wanted the day to be apart from Breast Cancer Awareness month, which is October, as awareness, patient support, and research need to be highlighted throughout the year. Dr. Susan Love, founder of the Dr. Susan Love Foundation, recently passed away from recurrent leukemia on July 2, 2023. She was a pioneering breast cancer researcher, advocate, surgeon, and fierce critic of the medical field’s historically patriarchal system and paternalistic treatment of women.