The role of the Breast Cancer Society of Canada
Breast cancer remains the most common form of cancer in Canada despite of the declining mortality rates.
Over the years, the number of breast cancer incidents in Canada has stabilized. Yet, it is the most common form of cancer that the population is diagnosed with 26% of all women cancer patients have breast cancer, while 1 out of 30 women are likely to die from it. In 2016, around 25,700 women in Canada had breast cancer, while only 230 males suffered from it.
The drop in mortality rates and success of treatment are direct contributions of organizations involved in research and healthcare. Due to their research, innovative and successful diagnosis and treatment procedures have been developed while the public has become more aware.
The Breast Cancer Society of Canada is a significant contributor for investing in breast cancer research for close to three decades. Let’s explore its activities and contributions in the field of breast cancer.
Origins of the Breast Cancer Society of Canada (BCSC)
In 1991, Lawrence and Kay had to meet one of the most disastrous times of their life. They lost their 38- year-old daughter Pam, who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She had two loving kids who were all alone in the world, only with their father to look after them.
But instead of giving up, the two families made it a mission of their lives to fight the disease and do everything in their power to help, prevent and treat it.
As a result, the BCSC was established as a non-profit organization that devoted itself to breast cancer research. They try to raise money so that more research can be conducted in the field of breast cancer. The organization doesn’t receive any government funding and depends solely on the contribution of its donors.
BCSC has the vision to bring an end to breast cancer and a mission to save lives by conducting breast cancer research.
Breast cancer remains a concern the world over, and organizations like the BCSC helps to bring in awareness.
Activities of BCSC: what does it do?
The primary activity of BCSC is to improve the diagnosis of breast cancer and come up with effective treatments. The Pan-Canadian Virtual Research Laboratory of BCSC gives people access to clinical trials where innovative treatments for breast cancer are carried out.
One of the main priorities is to improve patients outcome. New technology and advancement in the scientific and medical community have produced improved methods of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Using funding from donors, BCSC engages in facilitating research and deliver measurable and practical solutions to patients in Canada.
The organization works explicitly on a patient’s molecular testing so that they can be effectively screened for the disease. The agency is a strong force bringing disruption in breast cancer research delivering the results from the lab directly to the clinics; they are less concerned about its academic value.
The contributions of the Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund
Today, 1 out of 8 Canadian women have breast cancer and each hour 3 people (including males and females) are diagnosed with the disease.
Many institutions are fighting against the disease and investing in research to come up with effective clinical treatments. The Bras Family Foundation (BRAS) is one such name that has contributed a lot in creating a humanitarian environment for patients who suffer from cancer. It provides different beneficial services to cancer patients and also facilitates the operation of drug development programs at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto.
BRAS invests in grants for important purposes to create a difference in the community. Apart from working on health issues, they also concentrate on women’s and children’s issues. They also have a specific grant for patients with breast cancer, which we are going to talk about.
The Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund
With breast cancer continuing to throw in the lives of women around the world in a daze, many sufferers look at money for treatment and to lead a normal life.
BRAS has set up a grant that offers patients the funds they need to treat their disease in the near future. Many patients in Canada are still not educated or aware of the money involved that comes with a diagnosis. As a result, patients find it difficult to withstand the burden of breast cancer treatment makes matters worse.
Many of the patients also don’t have workplace health-care coverage, which it difficult to access treatment. Under certain conditions, they may also be ineligible for assistance or benefits provided by the government. Lost wages and paying for treatment is almost impossible for such people.
How does it help?
The patients covered by the Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund mostly live below the poverty line and have very low incomes. For these reasons, the fund comes helpful for breast cancer patients in Canada. They can use the fund to pay for food, and shelter and the organization reimburses them for any expense on different things such as medication, childcare, prosthetics and restorative procedures.
The patients covered under the fund include both men and women from all walks of life – some of them are married or single, divorced, widowed, young mothers, working women, unemployed, self-employed, students- the list is endless. Common among all patients is that they don’t have any support for extended family are mostly living alone in poor conditions. Clinically, the patients include both women with early stages of breast cancer and those who have breast cancer with metastasis.
The Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund under BRAS has made a significant contribution by investing generously for the health and survival of the patients with poor breast cancer. The efforts of such organizations are the cause of the stabilization of breast cancer cases in Canada.
Meetings of breast cancer support groups in Nova Scotia
Breast Cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer detected in women, including Nova Scotia. Around 780 women were diagnosed with the disease in 2015, while it caused 150 deaths in the same year.
Patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer need emotional support and backup so that they can retain hope and recover successfully. To be able to do that successfully, we have some breast cancer support groups – and we would be taking a look at a few of them in Nova Scotia.
The top breast cancer support groups you would find in Nova Scotia.
Several groups conduct support meetings for breast cancer patients and survivors in Nova Scotia. Some of them you will find below.
The organization is established by breast cancer survivors Bernice Perry and Kim Bookholt. The duo chanced upon one another in a breast cancer retreat and got the idea started. They did not want any other person to undergo the suffering they had experienced and discussed creating a group.
The retreat allowed them to meet Executive Director of Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia and Chair of the Board, who also liked the idea. Thus the foundation of the Pink Panthers was created.
The Pink Panthers has created a support group with numerous breast cancer patients and breast cancer survivors from Nova Scotia. They meet once a month and allow the participants to talk and connect with others who have experienced the same fate.
The meetings are held every third Monday of each month from 6:30 pm. to 8:30 pm at Mill Cove Sobeys in the Community Room near 955 Bedford Hwy.
Hope Chest Breast Cancer Support Group
The group is formed by breast cancer survivors of Nova Scotia and provides support to current patients. They conduct support meetings every month, which benefits the patients and gives them hope for fighting the disease.
The support meetings sometimes have guest speakers who can inspire those in distress. The members also arrange different activities like crafts, movie watching, lunch programs, walking programs and so on. The group is open to anyone who wishes to join it, and they invite new ideas and suggestions.
The support group meeting is held every 3rd Thursday of each month at 7 pm. The location is at Prince Street at the Truro Police Station Community Room.
Bosom Buddies of Nova Scotia
The origins of the group can be traced to the first dragon boat paddling team comprising Canadian breast cancer survivors. The idea for such a group, that will cater to the physical fitness of cancer survivors and patients came to a former social worker called Sharon Driscoll in 1998 who was also a breast cancer survivor.
Together with Margo Kleiker, she created the first Nova Scotia’s dragon boat team, which includes only breast cancer survivors. They arrange different activities including support meetings and regular paddle boating for the members. The weekly meetings give them a chance to meet each other and provide emotional support while getting a solid workout!