Our new report “Breast Cancer: The Lived Experience” showcases the needs and experiences of women with early staged breast cancer alongside people living with metastatic breast cancer. There are some shared similarities experienced by both groups, but there are also significant differences in priorities and experiences. This report highlights that while patients feel supported and well cared for in certain aspects, there are still significant opportunities for improvements in other aspects. We identified 5 areas to improve health outcomes and quality of life for Canadians living with breast cancer:
- Improved educational resources including resources for newly diagnosed patients, navigational tools to aid in surgical and financial decision-making, and information on dying-well.
- Increased access to treatments so that women living with metastatic breast cancer don’t have to wait for access to life-saving medicines.
- Increased access to information to help patients better understand their diagnosis and treatment options so they can make informed decisions.
- Integrated systemic supports within the health care system including patient navigation, access to psychosocial professionals and increased Employment Insurance Sickness Benefits.
- Increased awareness and understanding of metastatic breast cancer including accurate statistics to improve feelings of isolation and support.