The Voice of Canadians With Breast Cancer

Education

Our Voices Blog


Tag : treatment

Estro-Belly

I have been struggling with my body image these last 8 weeks. The funny thing is that it’s not with the two scars I have running across my chest. I have actually adapted well to that change, even with my right scar being lumpy and misshapen. What I have been struggling with is my weight gain thanks to Tamoxifen. Without estrogen, my mid-section is taking on the appearance of a barrel. A barrel made of pudding, with an oatmeal crust! Having always been fit and healthy, I am finding myself disturbed by this body morphing of mine.

I Had to Work During Cancer Treatment and it Sucked

I worked during my entire breast cancer treatment. I didn’t want to. I had to. I live alone. I don’t have a husband or boyfriend. I pay my bills on time and by myself. Yes, it was a choice, but it was a horrible one.

Coping With Scanxiety

Scanxiety may not officially be a real word, but the feelings it brings about are real. Very Well Health defines scanxiety as the term used to “describe the anxiety people with cancer feel while waiting for scans”. Regardless of whether the scans are for diagnostic purposes, monitoring treatment, checking recurrence or as a check-up, individuals can experience apprehension before, during, and while waiting for the results of their scans. The apprehension and fear that is felt can range from feeling claustrophobic in the scan machine to imagining the worst-case scenario of the scan results. Many people experience scanxiety so it is important to learn coping techniques that help eliminate the anxiety.

Have Hair, Do Care

Breast cancer made my hair thicker. And wavy-er. Not right away obviously. It’s not like it was a special prize I was gifted with to make up for the shock and fear of being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Tamoxifen. It’s Saving My Life, But it’s Killing My Self-esteem

I could cry writing this. Or maybe screaming for five minutes into a pillow so my neighbours don’t hear me would feel better. The walls in my condo aren’t that thick. Either way, my reality’s not changing any time soon. And by reality, I mean my body and the extra weight it has been lugging around since I started taking Tamoxifen a year ago.

Clinical Trials Part 2: Debunking Common Myths About Clinical Trials

In part 1 of our blog series on clinical trials, we explained what clinical trials are, why you should participate in them and how to get more information about participating. You may now be familiar with clinical trials but still hesitant about enrolling in one because of certain concerns that you may have. These concerns are valid as many breast cancer patients have these same concerns. However, some of these concerns about clinical trials are ill-informed. In part 2 of our blog series on clinical trials, we debunk some of the most common myths surrounding clinical trials. We hope that this will provide you with some fact-based information to make a more informed decision about whether or not clinical trials are right for you.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Why should where you live determine your quality of care? Our new campaign highlights the differences in access to treatments for mBC across Canada

Did you know that accessing treatments for stage IV metastatic breast cancer (mBC) is not universal across Canada? We live in a country that promotes universal health care to all but accessing cancer treatment varies by each province.

A Palpable Mass

So, we could begin like all meeting group sessions do:

— Hi, hello. My name is Rebecca, I'm 37 and I have breast cancer.

— Hello Rebecca.

We could. Yeah.

Physical therapy vs Occupational therapy: What’s the difference?

Rehabilitation is an important aspect when recovering from or living well with breast cancer. Physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) are terms we often hear when discussing rehabilitation, but we can sometimes confuse their true meanings. 

An app that helps you during your treatment and beyond

Self-care during treatment is so important for maintaining not only a good quality of life but your sanity as well. From doctors appointments, to managing the emotional aspects of a breast cancer diagnosis, there’s a lot to juggle. We’re excited to announce our new partnership with Self Care Catalysts and our Health Storylines mobile app.

Seven progressive steps to appeal a denied insurance claim

You have the stress of a breast cancer diagnosis, and now your insurance company has denied your claim.  Hang in there: you don’t have to accept the insurance company’s initial decision as the final word.  You can appeal your denied claim by following these seven steps.