The Voice of Canadians With Breast Cancer

Education

Our Voices Blog


Tag : breast cancer

Clinical Trials Series Part 1: What Are Clinical Trials and Are They Right for Me?

According to a 2014 study by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, less than 7% of adult cancer patients enrolled in clinical trials.1 This may be because many cancer patients are not aware of clinical trials, do not know how to enroll in them or are concerned that they are unsafe. In part one of our blog series on clinical trials, we explain what clinical trials are to provide you with the right tools to decide whether you should enroll in a clinical trial.

Testing Saved My Life

When I was five, I fell from the top of the swing set in my backyard and onto my right side, breaking my elbow. Why I was hanging upside down from the top bar unsupervised I don’t know, but it’s safe to say I was copying my older sister and playmates. Even back then I was super competitive. If someone else was doing something I had to prove I could do it too. My stubbornness resulted in a sling and a hot and itchy cast that I wore and endured (not quietly) for the entire summer. The swing-set incident left me with a double-jointed elbow that in later years became a nemesis to my synchronized swimming coaches who would holler at me from the pool deck to straighten and tighten my right arm, which being double-jointed and all was not an easy feat…but more about synchro later.

Meet Adriana Ermter

Approximately once a month, we will be sharing stories from Adriana Ermter as a guest blogger. Adriana is a senior editor and writer who grew up in Calgary, Alberta and now lives in Toronto, Ontario. She has spent the past 15 years overseeing the editorial for and contributing to newspapers, magazines and online publications, while coaching synchronized swimming part time.

Using acupuncture for treating cancer treatment side effects

Like tai chi and qigong, acupuncture is another form of traditional Chinese medicine that has become a popular therapy used in the cancer community for help with side effects.

Care giving and care receiving

We all, at some point, need to take on the role of caregiver. For some of us, that time coincides with us needing care as well. At a time when my husband was recovering from heart surgery and anticipating a kidney transplant, where I was to be his donor, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My surgery was scheduled quickly, and I was spared the ordeal and trauma of radiation and chemotherapy, which I am forever grateful for. However, the emotional toll it took was immeasurable.

Talking Palliative Care Part 5: Understand Medical Assistance in Dying

Receiving a life-limiting or terminal diagnosis brings with it a lot of difficult decisions that a person never wants to be in the position to make. The hardest of those is choosing to end treatment. Coming to terms with that reality and how it can affect a person’s family is not easy. Some people may consider the option of medical assistance in death. Today we are discussing this relatively new law and how it works in Canada.

Retaining control of your medical record, remaining hopeful and persevering

I am a 43-year-old mother of two amazing children, I have been in love with my wonderful Martin for 20 years now and I am a research professional in the health sector. Until August 2018, I was considered a breast cancer survivor. My cancer had been treated in the best way possible. My son was not yet one year old at the time (in 2012). I went through chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy, a mastectomy and, finally, a breast reconstruction.

Taking Action this World Cancer Day

Every year on February 4th, World Cancer Day, we get the opportunity to reflect on the work we’re doing to help reduce the impact of cancer. World Cancer Day, led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), has an action packed slogan: I Am and I Will. They’ve developed a set of key issues that affects us all. Here’s how CBCN is working to reduce the affects of cancer for Canadians based on these key issues:

Art and Music Therapy – how they can help you reduce stress and provide emotional support

When people think of therapy the most common therapy session that comes to mind probably includes a person sitting across from or lying down beside a therapist and talking about their feelings. But what if you can never quite find the right words to say to express yourself or talking through what you are feeling doesn’t seem to be helping? The truth is therapy comes in all shapes and sizes. People are looking for and creating new ways to help cope with the stresses in their lives.

Reducing the risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer: one woman’s story

In October 2013, Allegra Kawa of Edmonton had surgery to remove both her breasts.  She’s also considering surgery to remove her ovaries and uterus.

Talking Palliative Care Part 4: Wills, finances and advanced care directives

The topics of financial planning and preparing your will can be complicated and distressing especially at a time when you’d rather focus on your family and your wellbeing. As difficult as tackling these tasks may be, many people describe feeling relieved when they have their financial affairs in order and feel that they can more fully enjoy time with loved ones without worrying about the to-do list in the back of their minds. Today we are breaking down many of the confusing terms that come up when preparing a will and your finances for end-of-life.

Updates from the 2019 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

Every year scientists, clinicians and patients from across the world gather to present and discuss the latest breast cancer research at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. We’ve gathered some highlights from 2019 conference:

Our top blogs from 2019!

It’s now 2020! How strange does that sound? 2019 was a busy and impactful year at CBCN. So, we thought we’d look back and see what blogs you, our readers, found to be the most valuable. Here’s the top 10 list of most read blogs on CBCN’s Our Voices.

My honest thoughts about book The Complete Lymphedema Management and Nutrition Guide

I remember the shock I experienced when I learned about lymphedema, a chronic condition with no cure that I would be dealing with the rest of my life. I was at a high risk for it as I had stage III Inflammatory Breast Cancer and I had all lymph nodes removed from my left arm pit. Twenty-five rounds of radiation to my chest and upper back also put me at a greater risk.

Biosimilars for Cancer: Recent updates to patient treatments

Over the last few years CBCN has been working to educate patients, physicians and the broader cancer advocacy community about biosimilar therapies.  From our curated digital magazine on biosimilars to our recently released white paper Breast Cancer & Biosimilars: Recommendations on Use, Implementation and Patient Communications-CBCN is committed to raising awareness about the use of biosimilar therapies for treating breast cancer.

How your donations help support those who need it the most

It’s that time of year again! Yesterday you took advantage of all the amazing Cyber Monday deals, gearing up for the holidays and enjoying this festive season with the ones you love. It’s also the time of year where many people start to think about giving to others in need. Since today is Giving Tuesday, we wanted to give you a glimpse into the resources your donations to CBCN help support.

Tai Chi vs Qigong: What’s the difference?

Tai chi and qigong have long been popular in the cancer community to help with the effects of the disease. This week we look at these two forms of Chinese therapy, their similarities, differences and benefits.

Talking Palliative Care Part 3: Grief - Living with Loss

Life is about change and every change brings loss with it. Whenever we lose something or someone that we value, we grieve. We grieve for the past – for how things were—and we may not be able to imagine our future. Although it may not be welcome, grief can help us to find ways to live with -- and even grow from -- our losses.

Research Highlights from the European Society for Medical Oncology 2019 Conference

CBCN had the opportunity to join researchers, clinicians, manufacturers and other patients at this annual European conference to learn the latest insights and findings in cancer research. Here’s the research that we found most interesting as breast cancer patients:

The High Cost of Cancer

Living in a remote community like Labrador City, NL comes with its own challenges. We have one grocery store with very high prices, gas is $1.34/L, and we lack normal everyday amenities such as movie theatres and night clubs. Traveling out of Labrador means a very expensive plane ticket or driving 7-14 hours (depending on which direction you choose) on a partially paved highway that has often been called a cow path in some sections. The most critical challenge, however, is access to adequate healthcare. I experienced this firsthand when I was diagnosed with cancer.