Giving Voice to Canadians Concerned About Breast Cancer

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Category : Knowledge

Here’s what you need to know about inflammatory breast cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare and aggressive form of the disease that doesn’t get a lot of attention. It’s tough to diagnose because of its unusual symptoms, and it’s more common in young women which makes it particularly tricky since the symptoms mimic that of mastitis, a common breast infection in new moms who breastfeed. Here’s what you need to know:

History of breast cancer treatment

People have known about breast cancer since ancient times.  For most of that time, there were no effective treatments.  However, in the last 120 years, advances in surgical and medical treatments have meant that today, 98 percent of patients with localized breast cancer survive at least five years after diagnosis.  The following timeline shows the development of breast cancer treatments.

Understanding Biosimilar Drug Development

Biosimilar drug development involves many of the same steps that a biologic drug goes through but with a different focus. 

The healing powers of meditation

Meditation programs are popping up across Canada – and for good reason.   This centuries-old practice, also known as mindfulness, is one of the best tools for our health, well-being, and happiness.  Research shows a daily meditation practice reduces stress, depression, and inflammation while improving sleep, fatigue, and menopausal symptoms in women who have a breast cancer diagnosis.   Additionally, studies connect meditation and an enhanced immune function.  These are all important considerations when you’ve had a breast cancer diagnosis.

Biosimilars for Cancer: What’s Coming Down the Pipeline?

Biosimilar therapies have already been in use in Canada for a few years, mostly in the chronic disease and supportive care settings. But soon they will be used for treating cancer as well. There isn’t a lot of information about these new oncology biosimilars and it’s important that breast cancer patients are aware of how their treatment plans may be impacted by these new therapies. We explore some of the emerging biosimilar therapies that will be used to treat cancer patients soon.

Biosimilars: Clinical perspective

We are all familiar with generics.  The exact copy of the known chemical formula used in the original medicine is what constitutes the generic form of any medicine.  There are multiple reasons why generics are able to be mass produced at a lower cost.  An important step includes manufacturers of generics having to provide proof that their version is an exact copy of the chemical formula of the original medicine and that when used in healthy individuals, the metabolism remains very similar to the original compound.  This shortened pathway of getting approved from Health Canada or a similar regulatory agency ensures less economic burden to manufacturers and provides the obvious advantage of a significantly lower price, as well as improved accessibility for patients.

Research highlights from ASCO’s 2018 Annual Meeting

Earlier this month, the annual meeting for the American Society of Clinical Oncology was held in Chicago. Here, key research developments in every area of cancer care are shared with oncology professionals from around the world. We’ve compiled the top breast cancer highlights to come out of this year’s ASCO 2018 conference:

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.

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.

Research Roundup: April

Here are some highlights from the latest in breast cancer research:

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. 

Coping after a breast cancer diagnosis: What makes YOU resilient?

My husband can spend hours washing and polishing his car. Hours. Seriously. A Sunday afternoon can go by, and he is outside working away. I used to feel resentful and irritated. Not anymore.

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Day

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Day is an annual global event on March 3. This is a day for a global awareness and grassroots fundraising aimed at helping to eradicate triple-negative breast cancer and celebrating the courage and strength of triple negative breast cancer patients and survivors.