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The Voice of People With Breast Cancer

Education

Our Voices Blog


Tag : metastatic breast cancer

Practical Tools to Find Inner Strength and Resiliency During Breast Cancer and Beyond

I know you remember the moment you heard, “You have breast cancer”. Those words began a long journey with many possible roadblocks and detours. You will all be at different points on your cancer timeline. Perhaps you have just been diagnosed, are continuing with treatment, or even managing a reoccurrence. Because each of you is more than a statistic, your journey will be unique. The path to follow must be the one that is right for you. At each turn, you will be faced with many hard decisions. You certainly did not choose this challenge, but it is now in front of you. Deciding what is important, how you want to live, and setting your priorities are some of the many demands of this disease. The challenge is how do you want to move forward towards healing which is finding your wholeness and balance. Cure is the absence of physical disease. Everyone hopes for a cure. Even if you cannot achieve a cure, you can and must seek your definition of healing.

Getting a Second Opinion in our Public Health System

When we hear stories about people’s experiences receiving a diagnosis like breast cancer, we often hear the empowering message to trust your gut and get a second opinion if the answers aren’t sitting well with you. These messages, while meant to be inspiring, can often feel impractical. In other countries, like the US, getting second opinions may be fairly straightforward, but in Canada, second opinions may be a bit trickier to come by.  

Understanding Common Research Terms

Have you ever found yourself confused and wondering what all those scientific terms mean in the research studies we share on breast cancer? If so, we’ve compiled a list of common terms used in various breast cancer news articles to help explain how they are used in determining the results and progress of clinical trials and research.

Joycelyn's Cancer Journey

Joycelyn Merkley, from Shelburne, Ontario, describes herself as: a girlfriend, mother, grandmother, sister, and daughter. She has lived 53 years embracing these roles when in July of 2021 she was thrown into another role: breast cancer patient.

Closing the Breast Cancer Care Gap

This World Cancer Day, the focus is on how to ‘Close the Care Gap’. It is a call for everyone to not only become aware of the inequities that exist in cancer care, but to get actively involved in addressing and reducing such inequities. These inequities can be due to systemic and social barriers, as well as general access to care. While such gaps exist, they can be reduced and eventually eliminated. Below, we outline what CBCN is doing to close the breast cancer care gap and what you can do too.

Tamoxifen’s One Perk: Not Having My Period

The only thing I miss about Tamoxifen is not getting my period.

Ten Years: On the Unplanned Path of Early-Stage and Late-Stage Breast Cancer

Five years ago, I shared that I made it 5 years out from the day I was told “it’s breast cancer.” 6 months after that, I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. I was in the 30% of early-stage breast cancers that eventually becomes metastatic.

Research Highlights from the 2021 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

This year top researchers, physicians, manufacturers, and patient advocates met in-person and virtually for the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Once again, this conference shared an abundance of new research on breast cancer from around the globe.

Our 10 Most Read 2021 Blogposts

2021 was the year of the patient voice and patient advocacy. Across Canada, we saw patients become more active participants on their healthcare team. Whether due to the current circumstances, because of personal interest, or because of unfortunate situations, patients are increasingly becoming involved in their care. This was also reflected in the blogpost that we published in 2021. Overall, we published 23 posts that came from breast cancer patients and their various experiences dealing with their diagnosis. It’s no wonder that so many of these stories were part of our top blogposts of 2021. Even the posts not written by breast cancer patients reflected empowering breast cancer patients to take charge of their health.

CBCN-in-Action: 2021 in Review

The Canadian Breast Cancer Network exists to ensure the best quality of life for all Canadians diagnosed with breast cancer. We do this by voicing the views and concerns of breast cancer patients through education and advocacy activities. We also work to ensure that what we undertake is: patient-centered, credible and promotes equity.

Support. How to Give it, How to Get it

I finally caught up on my television viewing and watched the Friends Reunion show and the first two episodes of And Just Like That… Through the nostalgia, out-loud belly laughs and floods of tears (there were tons of each), one thought dominated: this is what support looks like. Sure, it was just TV, but if I could feel the connection and love through my 29-inch screen, then so can other people. I’m pretty sure that’s why these shows resonate. Support is survival. I need it and you do too, especially when you’re living with cancer, overcoming it, in the healing process, in remission or even know someone going through breast cancer. Asking for what you need though can be tough. We’re hardwired to put on a brave face or listen to whatever other crap messaging we tell ourselves we need to do. And it’s never worth it. So instead of being an island, try one or all of these suggestions to give and to get the support you deserve.

COVID-19 and Breast Cancer: Patient Voices, Expert Knowledge

Our latest digital magazine COVID-19 and Breast Cancer: Patient Voices, Expert Knowledge approaches the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic from the perspective of breast cancer patients and provides credible information for breast cancer patients from healthcare professionals and experts.

Breast Cancer Treatments in Canada: Accessing Treatment and Funding for Treatments

Being diagnosed with breast cancer comes with many challenges and complications, accessing breast cancer drugs and funding for breast cancer drugs shouldn’t be one of them. Unfortunately, breast cancer patients across Canada do not always have access to the same breast cancer drugs. In the case where the same treatment is available in different provinces and territories, the funding for these drugs may not be the same across provinces and territories.

Questions and Experts Session Guide: A Medical Oncologist Answers Questions about Triple Negative Breast Cancer

A breast cancer diagnosis comes with so many questions and there never seems to be enough time at appointments to have some of these questions answered. To help address this, we developed a "Q&E: Questions and Experts" series. In this series, a variety of experts spend the entire virtual session answering pre-submitted and live questions from participants. Watching the videos on-demand might be a little difficult to get through. So, we’ve created this guide to help you get right to the questions and answers that matter the most to you.

Questions and Experts Session Guide: A Drug Access Navigator Answers Questions about Accessing Breast Cancer Drugs in Canada

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 in October 2021. In this session, Michele MacDonald, RPhT, a Regulated Pharmacy Technician a Drug Access Navigator, answered questions about accessing breast cancer drugs in Canada. In the parentheses, you’ll find the timestamp of where to find the question in the on-demand video.

Questions and Experts Session Guide: A Naturopathic Doctor Answers Questions about Complementary Therapies

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 in September 2021. In this session, Dr. Dugald Seely, ND, a Naturopathic Doctor, answered questions about complementary therapies. In the parentheses, you’ll find the timestamp of where to find the question in the on-demand video.

Just Breathe

I was diagnosed in December 2019 at the age of 47. I was healthy, happy and at the height of my career.  Just as I said to my husband of 25 years “Life just can’t get any better”, our world came to a grinding halt - “you have breast cancer”.

Breast Cancer Awareness is About More Than Pink Ribbons

Breast cancer awareness is about more than pink ribbons. Yes, we said it! It’s more than telling the world that breast cancer merely exists. We all undoubtedly know that it exists, and we likely all know someone touched by breast cancer. And yet, time and again, we hear patients say, “I wish I had known.” Because there is so much about breast cancer that goes unspoken.

Virtual Exercise and Care for Individuals Living with Breast Cancer

Exercise has numerous benefits for individuals with breast cancer. These include a reduction in the severity of side effects of treatment, improved physical and mental health, and an overall sense of improved wellness. In addition, appropriate exercise is safe and plays a key part of care for lymphedema. Lymphedema is an abnormal swelling of the arms, hands, breast, or torso and generally occurs when the lymph node or lymphatic vessels are removed or damaged. Encouraging muscle movement and breathing techniques, during exercise, allows to stimulate the lymphatic system and helps improve lymph flow. Tailored exercise guidelines for cancer survivors have been developed and implemented worldwide. These guidelines recommend aiming for 20 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise two to three times per week, along with resistance training of all major muscle groups twice a week, with an emphasis on cancer-specific considerations and safety precautions.

Where the Federal Parties Stand on Health-Related Issues

On August 15th, 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party called for a federal election. While there are a many of items and issues to look out for from each parties’ platform, we have dedicated this post to the key takeaways from each party regarding health, healthcare, employment insurance  etc. Although this is not an exhaustive list on all the points raised by the parties regarding health and healthcare, we wanted to provide you with a starting point of navigating the 2021 elections as it relates to breast cancer patients.