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The Voice of Canadians With Breast Cancer

Education

Our Voices Blog


Tag : treatment

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.

One out of Nine: How this art exhibit tells my story, and has helped me heal

At the age of 46, I was diagnosed with stage two/grade three multifocal, invasive lobular and ductal breast cancer. I had found the lump myself after a year of constant infected cysts in my breast. I had been told I had very dense breasts, which is part of the reason the cancer was not visible on a mammogram. I had it confirmed by biopsy and had a right mastectomy followed by four rounds of chemotherapy. Six months later, I chose to have my left breast removed and began reconstruction.

A Running Thread

It’s good to set challenging goals.

I ran my first marathon the year I turned 50, and completed another two years later.  I loved establishing training goals that would force me to push myself physically, and feeling healthy  and strong as the result of running regularly.  In November 2015, I decided on a new goal:  to run another marathon in the fall of 2016, and complete it with a time fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Tips for managing fatigue

Cancer related fatigue is so much more than just feeling tired from a long, hard day. Your cancer treatment can cause you to experience what feels like full body exhaustion. You’re so exhausted that you can’t get out of bed and no amount of rest will give you back your energy.

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.

We Can. I Can. Improving access to cancer care and bettering the lives of Canadians with breast cancer.

February 4th marks World Cancer Day, a global event that takes place every year uniting people around the world who are concerned about the fight against cancer. Currently, 8.8 million people die from cancer globally every year and breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.

Helping you live better with Chemo Induced Neuropathy

Some forms of chemotherapy can affect or cause damage to your nerve endings, most commonly your sensory nerves. Your sensory nerves tell your brain to feel certain sensations such as touch, heat, cold and pain. When these nerves are damaged, you can have difficulty feeling these sensations correctly. It can lead to tingling, burning or numbness in your hands or feet, usually starting with your toes or fingers and gradually moving toward the centre of your body. It can cause debilitating pain, difficulty feeling hot or cold temperatures and can reduce your motor functioning.

How I regained control of my life when breast cancer made me feel like I had lost it

My journey began on New Year’s Eve 2015, when I noticed a red mark on my right breast.  It wasn’t long before my stomach dropped and I felt my face flush while my throat did that swallowing action reserved for moments just like this.

Overcoming the lasting side effects of breast cancer

Wendie Hayes of Stoney Creek Mountain, Ontario was diagnosed in 2011 with triple negative metaplastic phyllodes breast cancer at the age of 55 after she discovered a lump in her left breast.  Her cancer is a rare type, affecting less than one percent of breast cancer patients, so it took some time to get the right diagnosis. 

Depression, anxiety and ways to cope

If you’re a breast cancer patient who’s experiencing significant depression or anxiety, you’re not alone. Roughly one-quarter of breast cancer patients get help for anxiety or depression during their treatment. There are many reasons a person may feel anxious or depressed because of their cancer diagnosis.

6 ways to manage joint pain

Joint pain is often a side effect of breast cancer medications, especially tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors, which people are often prescribed for years. If you happen to be someone who experiences this, you know that it can range from being mildly annoying to having a debilitating effect on your daily life.

Adjusting to life after treatment ends

Your surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments are finished.  You think you should be celebrating your return to normal.  But you don’t feel the same as you did before your cancer diagnosis.  Breast cancer has changed you in many ways:  physically, emotionally, spiritually.

What’s important for patients to know from the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium?

Every year clinicians, researchers, patient advocates and industry members head to Texas to share the latest breakthroughs in breast cancer research. It’s a key conference to learn about new treatments or new standards of care for breast cancer patients. Here’s some of the highlights that have the most impact on patient care today:

Ask an expert: febrile neutropenia explained

Febrile neutropenia, or FN, is a common and potentially serious side effect of chemotherapy treatment.

Metastatic patient faces a roller coaster of emotions

For Naomi Pickersgill, living with metastatic breast cancer and being confronted with her own mortality has been a “roller coaster of emotions.”

9 self-care tips for getting through radiation

If you are receiving radiation, you’ll know that there are often side effects that range from mildly annoying to severely debilitating. The self-care plan outlined by your medical team can help reduce the redness, pain, and irritation that come with radiation dermatitis.

Metastatic breast cancer’s silver lining

For Shelley Scott of Winnipeg, a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis in November 2016 had a silver lining.

“It helped me appreciate the moments of my life rather than worrying about what might be, which is kind of a gift,” she says.

She tells the story of two coworkers she knew who planned a big trip for the time when they both were retired.  They never made the trip because one of them died.

Metastatic breast cancer has made her a fighter

In August 2016, Erin Richard of Sydney, Nova Scotia was diagnosed with triple negative metastatic breast cancer.  She was only 39 years old.

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.