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The Voice of People With Breast Cancer


The Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN) exists to ensure the best quality of life for people in Canada diagnosed with breast cancer.


CBCN is Canada’s leading patient-directed breast cancer health charity that voices the views and concerns of breast cancer patients through the promotion of information sharing, education and advocacy activities.

Our National Network connects patients, caregivers, health care professionals, researchers, public health agencies and industry stakeholders to improve knowledge translation and promote optimal health outcomes for Canadians with breast cancer.

Our Patient Education provides current, credible and accessible breast cancer resources that are delivered through digital platforms, navigation tools, print materials, and patient centered events.

Our Advocacy ensures that the patient experience, values and perspectives inform policy and guide research.


CBCN is committed to operating under the guidelines of the following core values:

  • Patient Driven: We are committed to ensuring that breast cancer patients and survivors are the driving force of the organization and that their views and concerns inform CBCN’s priorities.
  • Credibility: We are committed to making decisions informed by current research and leading practices.
  • Accountability: We are committed to operating in a transparent manner with full accountability to the breast cancer community, stakeholders and the general public.
  • Equitability: We acknowledge that those affected by breast cancer come from diverse cultural, linguistic, social, economic, geographic, and family backgrounds and that needs in regards to access can be complex. We are committed to understanding these needs to promote social justice and ensure optimal outcomes for all Canadians affected by breast cancer.
  • Inclusivity: We are committed to operating in a manner that ensures inclusivity of all Canadians.
  • Integrity: We are committed to adhering to the highest standards of professionalism, ethics, and personal responsibility.
  • Diversity: We are committed to promoting diversity in our board, staff, volunteers, members and stakeholders, including full participation in programs and decision-making.

History of CBCN

In 1992 the House of Commons published a report entitled Breast Cancer: Unanswered Questions, and one of its recommendations resulted in the National Forum on Breast Cancer, which was held in Montreal in November 1993. One of the recommendations contained in the final report of the National Forum on Breast Cancer called for the development of a survivor-directed, national network of organizations and individuals to provide a link and a voice for members of the breast cancer community. An interim planning committee of nine survivors from across Canada volunteered to begin the formation of a national network to represent the interests of those Canadians and their families who live with breast cancer.

The Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN) was officially incorporated and registered as a charitable organization in November 1994. Health Canada then sponsored a seminar to help the Network build skills and promote organizational development. Forty-three participants representing Canada’s geographic regions and ethnic make-up attended, and a 17-member Steering Committee was established.

Early in 1995, CBCN, in partnership with Health Canada, sponsored regional meetings in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. In total, 200 delegates met to discuss the current services and the persistent gaps in breast cancer education, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Delegates recommended that the Canadian Breast Cancer Network act as a link between breast cancer groups across Canada to broaden their resources, provide educational activities, and share information.

In 1997, CBCN hired an Executive Director and opened its national office in Ottawa. Since then CBCN has published several reports highlighting key breast cancer issues, including access to treatment for Canadians with metastatic breast cancer, breast cancer wait times in Canada, the economic impact of breast cancer, the needs of young women, and the perspectives of rural women. These reports have been key in improving access to services and care for Canadians affected by breast cancer.

CBCN has also hosted a variety of in-person meetings for breast cancer patients, survivors, and their families to increase their knowledge and information about the disease and how to access the treatments they need and connect with a supportive community. CBCN regularly hosts online webinars on a variety of key topics of interest and publishes monthly e-newsletters and a semi-annual magazine to help address the informational and educational needs of the breast cancer community in Canada. CBCN continues to work with decision makers to provide critical input to health approval bodies and to influence policy to promote a patient-focused approach.