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The Voice of Canadians With Breast Cancer

Education

Our Voices Blog


Tag : drug access

CBCN-in-Action: 2021 in Review

The Canadian Breast Cancer Network exists to ensure the best quality of life for all Canadians diagnosed with breast cancer. We do this by voicing the views and concerns of breast cancer patients through education and advocacy activities. We also work to ensure that what we undertake is: patient-centered, credible and promotes equity.

Breast Cancer Treatments in Canada: Accessing Treatment and Funding for Treatments

Being diagnosed with breast cancer comes with many challenges and complications, accessing breast cancer drugs and funding for breast cancer drugs shouldn’t be one of them. Unfortunately, breast cancer patients across Canada do not always have access to the same breast cancer drugs. In the case where the same treatment is available in different provinces and territories, the funding for these drugs may not be the same across provinces and territories.

Questions and Experts Session Guide: A Drug Access Navigator Answers Questions about Accessing Breast Cancer Drugs in Canada

In today’s post, we provide the questions that were sent in and asked during the live session of our Questions and Experts session held in October 2021. In this session, Michele MacDonald, RPhT, a Regulated Pharmacy Technician a Drug Access Navigator, answered questions about accessing breast cancer drugs in Canada. In the parentheses, you’ll find the timestamp of where to find the question in the on-demand video.

What you need to know: Accessing clinical trials out of province and out of country

I have been living with metastatic breast cancer for over eight years. While I am usually averse to using battle analogies for living with and dying from cancer, finding the best care has required a fight, considerable perseverance, and hard work. Fortunately, my ER+/PR+ tumours (pleura/liver/lymph) have responded well, but not great, to hormonal therapies.  I’m onto my seventh line of treatment. 

Is this the drug funding we deserve?

When I started getting sick in the late summer of 2011, I was pretty sure I knew what it was. I thought my endometriosis was "acting up." Then my symptoms changed and a Google search convinced me I needed my gall bladder removed. I exaggerate, but the point is that while my disparate symptoms piled up, I was sure there was a simple explanation. Cancer never entered my mind, even when my gynaecologist found a lump in my breast I hadn't noticed.

Living with mbc and learning to celebrate each day

Adriana Capozzi of Bradford, Ontario, was diagnosed in October 2014 with HER2-positive, Stage III breast cancer.  She received four months of chemotherapy and one year of Herceptin, along with a bilateral mastectomy and 25 rounds of radiation.

In search of timely and equitable access to drugs

I learned about “timely and equitable access” to oncology drugs at the Canadian Breast Cancer Network's metastatic breast cancer advocacy training in 2013. I was the first in Canada prescribed Perjeta, days after Health Canada approved the drug. My oncologist shared exciting trial results about dual blockade (using two drugs simultaneously against breast cancer). The trastuzumab emtansine (TDM-1) trial had closed days earlier. Another combo was available but it was “back pocket.” The caveat was that it wasn’t funded but my extended health insurance benefits agreed to pay. On route to my first infusion, I penned a sign: BELIEVE. We did. I had dozens of liver and lymph mets and my liver was failing. After two rounds, I had normal liver enzymes and after three, normal tumour markers.