There are various issues that you may be facing as a breast cancer patient. These can range from psycho-social issues to financial issues. While all the impacts and side effects from a breast cancer diagnosis are important to address, it is important that the issue you advocate for has specific, concrete and measurable solutions and are issues that are shared with other breast cancer patients. This allows you to provide a story that does not just remain a story but rather, drives a cause that leads to change for yourself as well as other breast cancer patients.
Below we highlight some of the most prevalent issues that individuals diagnosed with breast cancer face and may need advocacy.
For many Canadians affected by metastatic breast cancer, there continues to be a lack of awareness, understanding, resources, and support, surrounding this disease. If you are an individual living with metastatic breast cancer, you may need to advocate for:
Cancer can be expensive, and not all costs are covered by the healthcare system. Major out-of-pocket expenses can include drugs, medical equipment, transportation, and childcare. The financial burdens of a breast cancer diagnosis can become compounded if you are unable to work or have to work reduced hours, do not have insurance, or do not have a high enough income to cover costs. Finance related advocacy can be:
Currently, Canada lacks a national approach to prescription drug coverage. While each province and territory has its own independent system for providing cancer treatments, the eligibility requirements and nature of coverage varies greatly across provinces, territories, and other jurisdictions. Advocating for better drug access across Canada may look like:
Palliative end-of-life care is a form of healthcare with a focus on relieving pain symptoms while providing emotional and spiritual support for those living with or dying from an incurable illness. It can begin at any point during your treatment to improve your quality of life and people can often move in and out of palliative treatment. If you are receiving palliative treatment and end-of-life care, you might advocate by:
While the challenges faced by young women diagnosed with breast cancer can be faced by any breast cancer patient, they are experienced in a unique way when you are young. In particular, younger individuals may be diagnosed at a later stage as their symptoms are sometimes dismissed, due to the false belief that certain age groups are too young to have breast cancer. As a young woman diagnosed with breast cancer, you can advocate for causes specific to young women by: