The Canadian Breast Cancer Network is pleased to welcome a new member to our board of directors. Cathy Hemeon of Mount Pearl, Newfoundland brings many years of experience in the health care field to her new role. She, like all CBCN board members, is also a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in February 2016 with Stage I triple positive breast cancer following a screening MRI.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from, and your experience with breast cancer.
Giving Tuesday is coming up on November 27th and we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the amazing work Canadians have done to support the Canadian Breast Cancer Network. The Annual Pink Ribbons Project Gala hosted by the Full Circle Foundation for Wellness is a perfect example of community involvement shaping CBCN’s valuable resources.
We all know how integral surgery is for the treatment of breast cancer. It’s usually the first step in treating early stages of the disease which means it can come quickly after diagnosis. The time when you’re still processing your diagnosis is also the time when you’re making some of the most important decisions about your treatment. Trying to make these decisions while learning this new, complicated language called cancer doesn’t make those decisions any easier.
No person truly understands what it’s like to be diagnosed with breast cancer until it happens to them. It can be terrifying and overwhelming and can take physical and psychological tolls on a person’s body. 1 in every 8 Canadian women will hear the words “You have breast cancer” in her lifetime and 5,000 Canadians die from metastatic breast cancer each year. That means 26,000+ women every year have to live through surgery, chemo, radiation and side effects like fatigue, depression, chemo brain, and nausea, all while balancing their work and home life. Understanding the lived experience of a diagnosis like this is imperative to improving support for patients, survivors and their families.
Together we can accomplish great things! It’s always amazing to watch how individuals coming together as one united voice can truly make a difference in the lives of others.
On May 1st and 2nd I had the pleasure of representing CBCN at an Advisory Committee meeting for the Inuit Cancer Project lead by Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada in Iqaluit, NU. This meeting gave those involved in the project an opportunity to meet face to face to discuss an overview of the project, how it was proceeding, along with an update of recent activities and roundtable discussions. These roundtable discussions included opportunities to speak about lessons learned, ways to build community engagement, community capacity and next steps.
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.
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.
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.