The Voice of Canadians With Breast Cancer

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Tag : breast cancer

I wish someone told me I had dense breasts

Dense breasts are common in Canadian women, affecting about 3.4 million women. Having dense breasts makes it harder to detect cancer on a mammogram yet women are not being told.

Biosimilars: What are the doctors saying?

Now that you’ve learned more about biosimilars, it may also be of interest to learn what the physician perspective is. We connected with Dr. Sandeep Sehdev, a medical oncologist at the Ottawa Hospital, to get his perspective on biosimilars and what he thinks is important for patients to understand about them.

Tips for managing cancer-related brain fog

One of the most common complaints you hear from patients getting chemotherapy is brain fog. It's why it's most commonly known as "chemo brain". But what is it and why does it happen? And most importantly, how can it be managed?

Learning more about biosimilar treatment options

Biosimilar drugs will soon be entering the breast cancer treatment landscape and are already available for support medications. With these emerging treatment options, it’s important to know more about them so you can make informed decisions about your treatment plan.

Diarrhea – the opposite of constipation

In complete contrast to constipation, diarrhea is also a common side effect of treatment. While many chemotherapies and targeted therapies cause constipation, some of the others cause diarrhea. Loss of bowel control can not only be embarrassing, but it can cause painful cramps and lead to dehydration.

Top 10 priorities for metastatic breast cancer research

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.

Constipation – A hard truth

Poop, definitely a topic that most of us don’t want to have candid conversations about, especially when it comes to our own. But constipation is one of the most common side effects of many cancer treatments, and can be a real pain in the a**, literally.

Clinical Trials – 101

Clinical trials play a big role in the discovery of new treatments for cancer. They help to determine the safety and effectiveness of potential new treatments. For metastatic patients, they can also potentially offer additional treatment options after the cancer has grown resistant to the standards of care.

The importance of knowing you have dense breasts

I went for my regularly scheduled mammogram in April 2014. The notice I received for my mammogram stated that I was to be screened annually because I had 'dense breast tissue’. This was the first time I had heard that term. When I went for my mammogram in Regina, I told the tech that my letter stated that I had 'dense breast tissue’. After the mammogram, she looked at the images and said yes, “dense breasts.” I had no idea what this meant for me, but I was to find out soon.

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.