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The Voice of Canadians With Breast Cancer

Education

Our Voices Blog


Tag : metastatic breast cancer

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.

Fighting for life-saving metastatic drug access

I was born and raised in Southern Alberta and moved to Calgary to attend university and eventually raise my family here.  I am an active senior who enjoys singing with a Calgary performing group, travelling with my husband, watching sports and movies on TV, spending time with my two daughters, who both live in Calgary, keeping in touch with my granddaughter, who now lives in Victoria, and watching my grandson grow up and enjoy his activities.

My metastatic breast cancer has disappeared

On July 19, 2011, at the age of 33, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. With a 10-month-old son, I was still glowing with the joy of motherhood—but when a lump that I had been attributing to breastfeeding challenges refused to go away, I decided to see my doctor.

Personalized medicine: A revolution in cancer treatment

The more researchers and doctors learn about cancer, the more they are beginning to understand that there isn’t one standard approach to treating it but many factors to consider to come up with the best treatment plan for each person. New research is adding to this knowledge and instead of treating a cancer based on its location in the body, clinicians are starting to personalize and improve treatments for individual patients based on genomics.

“Nothing about us, without us”- Key lessons learnt from the Breast Cancer Patient Group Forum

How valuable is patient input to decision-makers and how can we work to make sure that the patient voice is really being heard? These are just some of the important questions that I and many others gathered to discuss at the annual Breast Cancer Patient Group Forum in Vienna, Austria.

What More Looks Like …

Looking back at the 4 years we have hosted our event, the Pink Ribbon Project (PRP) is always interesting, emotional and clarifying. We can see the things we have accomplished and learned but most importantly where we can grow in our work around breast cancer.

What I learned from women around the world living with metastatic breast cancer

This June I had the opportunity to attend the Europa Donna Metastatic Breast Cancer Advocacy Conference in Italy. The chair of our board, Cathy, was asked to speak and I was happy to join her to share with the group the advocacy that CBCN has been doing in Canada. While most of the participants that attended were representing various organizations, it was interesting learning that many of them were also women who were living with metastatic breast cancer.

Discussing the gaps in cancer drug coverage at key Canadian Conference

I had the privilege to attend the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer’s (CPAC) Conference on Optimal Approaches to Cancer Care in Canada. This was the first time that CPAC hosted this conference.  Its purpose was to explore 4 key themes to cancer control: initiatives in quality care, economics of high-quality care, improving the quality of cancer diagnosis, and overcoming inertia in the cancer system (why don’t we do what we know works?). 

Young mother faces metastatic breast cancer

In 2014, Krista Dumas of Kirkland Lake, Ontario, was shocked to receive a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer at the age of 33.  The cancer was in her liver and L5 vertebrae.