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Tag : breast cancer

Research Roundup: April

Here are some highlights from the latest in breast cancer research:

Nerve damage is a little-known side effect of radiation

About 10 years ago, Charlotte Pennell was pruning bushes in her garden in Winnipeg. One branch seemed especially tough to cut. Then she looked down and saw that she was cutting her finger. She was horrified that she had so little feeling in her hand.

The flying trapeze artist: Hanging in thin air, waiting for the rest of my life to begin

For Jenn Abbott, finishing treatment for breast cancer is like a flying trapeze.  Having received her “NED” (no evidence of disease), she is in mid-air, no longer holding on to the bar that represents the medical team that saved her life, while at the same time, not yet catching the second bar that represents the rest of her life after cancer.  She is in limbo, facing post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by her cancer treatment which included five surgeries and a severe adverse reaction to chemotherapy that meant she had to stay in the hospital for two weeks. She feels PTSD after cancer treatment is real.

Surviving breast cancer and living with lymphedema

January 4, 2010, I became a fly on the wall.  I was at my surgeon’s getting results from my biopsy.  It was supposed to be a quick appointment as the initial needle test of fluid prior to the biopsy was negative for cancer, or so we thought.  I remember hearing the doctor telling me “unfortunately it was cancer….” I felt like I was having an out of body experience. I was there but literally watching over my body and the doctor from a distance.  My world suddenly changed both physically and mentally.

Living like I’m dying

I’m from Ottawa. I was diagnosed de novo in March 2011 with metastatic breast cancer and metastasis to the bone. I am 53 years old. I am a mother, daughter, sister, artist, lesbian, atheist, and gardener.

Medical marijuana gives a metastatic patient relief from pain, hot flashes, and sleeplessness

Cindy Blondeau of Moosomin, Saskatchewan is pleased that the federal government is legalizing marijuana.  For this metastatic breast cancer patient, pure CBD oil from this plant works better than any other painkillers that she has tried.

Cannabis for cancer side effects

We’ve been talking a lot lately about side effects and ways to manage or cope with the many symptoms of cancer treatment. But what we haven’t talked about in all of these posts is how cannabis (or marijuana) can be used to help with your side effects. We thought it best to dedicate a blog post entirely on cannabis to help you better understand how it may help relieve your symptoms and how it’s regulated in Canada. 

Rethinking the slippery slope: resilience, metastatic breast cancer, and me

“Go UP the stairs.  Slide DOWN the slide.  No, Sweetie.  Go UP the STAIRS.”  She could barely walk, but she was climbing up the slide.  Then, and now.  Spend ten minutes at a playground, and the appeal of climbing up the face of the slide is undeniable.  I am acutely aware of the dangers of falling off the slide, the risks of children bumping into each other. I vaguely remember falling off a slide, decades ago--one of the old, tall ones—before playgrounds had soft surfaces.  I like to see everyone going in the same direction.  Up the stairs.  Down the slide.  Nice, orderly, predictable, and safe.

Fear of recurrence runs high for triple negative breast cancer patient

Montreal resident Kelina feels like a “sitting duck” because although researchers are working hard to find treatments for triple negative breast cancer, there are no targeted therapies available to this cancer, which was diagnosed in December 2015. 

Getting people access to the treatments they need

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.

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Day

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Day is an annual global event on March 3. This is a day for a global awareness and grassroots fundraising aimed at helping to eradicate triple-negative breast cancer and celebrating the courage and strength of triple negative breast cancer patients and survivors.

One out of Nine: How this art exhibit tells my story, and has helped me heal

At the age of 46, I was diagnosed with stage two/grade three multifocal, invasive lobular and ductal breast cancer. I had found the lump myself after a year of constant infected cysts in my breast. I had been told I had very dense breasts, which is part of the reason the cancer was not visible on a mammogram. I had it confirmed by biopsy and had a right mastectomy followed by four rounds of chemotherapy. Six months later, I chose to have my left breast removed and began reconstruction.

A Running Thread

It’s good to set challenging goals.

I ran my first marathon the year I turned 50, and completed another two years later.  I loved establishing training goals that would force me to push myself physically, and feeling healthy  and strong as the result of running regularly.  In November 2015, I decided on a new goal:  to run another marathon in the fall of 2016, and complete it with a time fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Tips for managing fatigue

Cancer related fatigue is so much more than just feeling tired from a long, hard day. Your cancer treatment can cause you to experience what feels like full body exhaustion. You’re so exhausted that you can’t get out of bed and no amount of rest will give you back your energy.

Is this the drug funding we deserve?

When I started getting sick in the late summer of 2011, I was pretty sure I knew what it was. I thought my endometriosis was "acting up." Then my symptoms changed and a Google search convinced me I needed my gall bladder removed. I exaggerate, but the point is that while my disparate symptoms piled up, I was sure there was a simple explanation. Cancer never entered my mind, even when my gynaecologist found a lump in my breast I hadn't noticed.

We Can. I Can. Improving access to cancer care and bettering the lives of Canadians with breast cancer.

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.

Helping you live better with Chemo Induced Neuropathy

Some forms of chemotherapy can affect or cause damage to your nerve endings, most commonly your sensory nerves. Your sensory nerves tell your brain to feel certain sensations such as touch, heat, cold and pain. When these nerves are damaged, you can have difficulty feeling these sensations correctly. It can lead to tingling, burning or numbness in your hands or feet, usually starting with your toes or fingers and gradually moving toward the centre of your body. It can cause debilitating pain, difficulty feeling hot or cold temperatures and can reduce your motor functioning.

How I regained control of my life when breast cancer made me feel like I had lost it

My journey began on New Year’s Eve 2015, when I noticed a red mark on my right breast.  It wasn’t long before my stomach dropped and I felt my face flush while my throat did that swallowing action reserved for moments just like this.

Overcoming the lasting side effects of breast cancer

Wendie Hayes of Stoney Creek Mountain, Ontario was diagnosed in 2011 with triple negative metaplastic phyllodes breast cancer at the age of 55 after she discovered a lump in her left breast.  Her cancer is a rare type, affecting less than one percent of breast cancer patients, so it took some time to get the right diagnosis. 

Depression, anxiety and ways to cope

If you’re a breast cancer patient who’s experiencing significant depression or anxiety, you’re not alone. Roughly one-quarter of breast cancer patients get help for anxiety or depression during their treatment. There are many reasons a person may feel anxious or depressed because of their cancer diagnosis.