Archive for June 2017

Canada’s 150: Why Rethink Loves Canada

https://rethinkbreastcancer.com/canadas-150-why-rethink-loves-canada/

It’s Canada’s 150th birthday this weekend! So, at Rethink, we started thinking about what our favourite things about this country are. Here’s what we came up with…


1. BeaverTails

ALI

My favorite thing about Canada is the Beavertail! I grew up in Ottawa, so these always bring up fun memories of skating on the canal as a kid.

 

2. Winter Fun

MJ

My favourite thing about Canada is the winter fun! Of course I love our accessible healthcare, full year maternity leave, advanced LGBT rights, smart immigration system and generous refuge policies but politics aside, I also love that we have four seasons and winter is my favourite one. I love winter, snow and ice. And, I really love skating.

 

3. The Beautiful Lands

JEN

My favourite thing about Canada is the bounty of beautiful lands. But I do struggle with the celebration of “Canada 150”- 150 years of colonization, oppression, violence. However, my greatest hope is …

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Canada’s 150: Why Rethink Loves Canada

https://rethinkbreastcancer.com/canadas-150-why-rethink-loves-canada/

It’s Canada’s 150th birthday this weekend! So, at Rethink, we started thinking about what our favourite things about this country are. Here’s what we came up with…

1. BeaverTails

ALI

My favorite thing about Canada is the Beavertail! I grew up in Ottawa, so these always bring up fun memories of skating on the canal as a kid.

 

2. Winter Fun

MJ

My favourite thing about Canada is the winter fun! Of course I love our accessible healthcare, full year maternity leave, advanced LGBT rights, smart immigration system and generous refuge policies but politics aside, I also love that we have four seasons and winter is my favourite one. I love winter, snow and ice. And, I really love skating.

 

3. The Beautiful Lands

JEN

My favourite thing about Canada is the bounty of beautiful lands. But I do struggle with the celebration of “Canada 150”- 150 years of colonization, oppression, violence. However, my greatest hope is that Canadians take the long weekend as an opportunity to connect with nature, spirit and ancestry. To work on healing this rift as opposed to the debaucherous, consumptive weekend that seems to be more typical. We have so much work to do. #Resistance150

 

4. Cottage Country

SHAWNA

There are many things I love abo… Read More

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Study Estimates Relative Risk of Breast and Ovarian Cancer for 25 Genetic Mutations

http://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/relative-risk-of-mutations-linked-to-cancers

About 5% to 10% of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary, caused by mutated genes passed from parent to child.

Genes are particles in cells, contained in chromosomes, and made of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). DNA contains the instructions for building proteins. And proteins control the structure and function of all the cells that make up your body.

Think of your genes as an instruction manual for cell growth and function. Abnormalities in the DNA are like typographical errors. They may provide the wrong set of instructions, leading to faulty cell growth or function. In any one person, if there is an error in a gene, that same mistake will appear in all the cells that contain the same gene. This is like having an instruction manual in which all the copies have the same typographical error. A genetic error that causes harm is called a mutation.

Many inherited cases of breast cancer are associated with two gene mutations: BRCA1 (BReast CAncer gene one) and BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene two).

The average woman in the United States has about a 1 in 8, or about 12%, risk of developing breast cancer in her lifetime. Women who have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation (or both) can have up to an 80% risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes. Breast cancers associated with an abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene tend to develop in younger women and occur more often in both breasts than cancers in women without these abnormal genes.

Women with an abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene also have an increased risk of developing ovarian, colon, and pancreatic cancers, as well as melanoma.

Men who have an abnormal BRCA2 gene have a higher risk of breast cancer than men who don’t — about 8% by the time they’re 80 years old. This is about 80 times greater than average.

Men with an abnormal BRCA1 gene have a slightly higher risk of prosta…

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Can Eating a Low-Fat Diet Improve Breast Cancer Survival in Postmenopausal Women?

http://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/can-low-fat-diet-improve-survival-for-some

After being diagnosed with breast cancer, many women make diet and other lifestyle changes to improve their health as they recover from treatment. Eating a healthy diet that’s rich in fresh, unprocessed foods and low in trans fats after being diagnosed can give you more energy as you recover and improve your quality of life.

Researchers have wondered if eating a low-fat diet after being diagnosed improves survival. A study suggests that postmenopausal women who eat a low-fat diet after a breast cancer diagnosis are less likely to die from breast cancer or any other cause.

The study was published online on June 27, 2017 by the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Read the abstract of “Low-Fat Dietary Pattern and Breast Cancer Mortality in the Women’s Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Trial.”

The research is part of the very large Women’s Health Initiative Clinical Trial and the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. Both studies are commonly called the WHI. Together, the two studies include information from more than 161,608 postmenopausal women who were ages 50 to 79 when they joined between 1993 to 1998. The WHI wants to find any links between health, diet, and lifestyle factors and health problems such as cancer.

In this part of the study, called the Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial, 48,835 postmenopausal women, ages 50 to 79, who had no history of breast cancer and who ate a diet that was more than 32% fat, were randomly assigned to one of two diet plans:

  • 19,541 women were told to eat a low-fat diet (fat intake was supposed to be only 20% of the diet); these women also participated in group sessions led by a nutritionist to teach the women how to reduce their fat intake
  • 29,294 women were told to eat their usual diet and received educational materials on hea…

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FERTILITY: An Unresolved Struggle for Young People with Cancer

https://rethinkbreastcancer.com/fertility-an-unresolved-struggle-for-young-people-with-cancer/


If you have followed Rethink before or read any of our previous content, you know that young people with cancer face unique challenges throughout – and after – their diagnosis.

Recently, the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer published a report on the challenges AYAs (Adolescents and Young Adults – ages 15-39) with cancer face. The report argued that young adults with cancer have greater psychosocial and medical needs. Here are just a few of the medical needs:

  • Their diagnoses are more complex, landing somewhere between pediatric and adult oncology, and require a broader range of expertise;
  • They are more susceptible to delayed diagnosis due to low suspicion; and
  • Their cancers are often more advanced, requiring more aggressive treatment.

It’s the cancer treatment that causes the risk of infertility. With their need for more aggressive treatments, this risk is big for AYAs with cancer. As people are increasingly waiting until their 30s and 40s to have children, many AYAs have not yet started or completed their families when diagnosed with cancer (The Asco Post). So, fertility after cancer is a major concern for them and, research shows, this concern goes unresolved year after year.

HERE’S HOW:

A Lack of Referral

Even though fertility has proven to be a major concern for AYAs with cancer, studies show that most of them are not spoken to regularly about fertility by their doctor…

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FERTILITY: An Unresolved Struggle for Young People with Cancer

https://rethinkbreastcancer.com/fertility-an-unresolved-struggle-for-young-people-with-cancer/

If you have followed Rethink before or read any of our previous content, you know that young people with cancer face unique challenges throughout – and after – their diagnosis.

Recently, the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer published a report on the challenges AYAs (Adolescents and Young Adults – ages 15-39) with cancer face. The report argued that young adults with cancer have greater psychosocial and medical needs. Here are just a few of the medical needs:

Their diagnoses are more complex, landing somewhere between pediatric and adult oncology, and require a broader range of expertise;
They are more susceptible to delayed diagnosis due to low suspicion; and
Their cancers are often more advanced, requiring more aggressive treatment.

It’s the cancer treatment that causes the risk of infertility. With their need for more aggressive treatments, this risk is big for AYAs with cancer. As people are increasingly waiting until their 30s and 40s to have children, many AYAs have not yet started or completed their families when diagnosed with cancer (The Asco Post). So, fertility after cancer is a major concern for them and, research shows, this concern goes unresolved year after year.

HERE’S HOW:

A Lack of Referral

Even though fertility has proven to be a major concern for AYAs with cancer, studies show that most of them are not spoken to regularly about fertility by their doctors and are often not referred to a fertility specialist or counsellor.

The Cost of Preservation

Even when AYAs are referred to fertility counsellors and/or clinics, the options presented to them are easily out of price-range. For example: according to an article by Huffington Post, egg freezing can cost anywhere from $10-12,000, plus up to $800 per year for storage (depending on the clinic). Often, this cost is not covered by insurance. While some clinics offer discounts to cancer patients, these discounts are not guaranteed and are often sti… Read More

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Moving Forward in the Face of Fear (Part 1)

http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/types/recur_metast/blog/moving-forward-1

by Claire Nixon

Patricia Wu

When Patricia Wu was a child in Taiwan, her parents immigrated to the United States so she would have better educational opportunities. She started first grade in California and went on to graduate from the University of California, Berkeley. At 21, she began teaching English to seventh graders. Later, she earned a doctorate in education and became a school administrator in Los Angeles, CA.

At age 30, Patricia found a lump in her breast and was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). She underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction and began a tamoxifen regimen. “It was simple. Surgery, reconstruction, and move on with my life. At least that’s what I thought.”

Two years later, there was a pain in her hip that wouldn’t go away. “I learned that the breast cancer had come back and was in my bones,” she says. “It was frightening and shocking. After my first line of treatment failed, I learned that breast cancer was now in my lungs. It was even more frightening. It is also the reality of a metastatic breast cancer [MBC] diagnosis. Living with MBC is praying and hoping that each line of treatment will control the tumors for as long as possible.”

After she’d started to recover from several months of grueling chemotherapy, an opportunity arose with First Descents, a Colorado organization offering free outdoor adventure trips to people living with cancer. She had the opportunity to try ice climbing about 10 months after her MBC diagnosis.

On her Facebook page, Patricia reflected on her First Descents experience in a post. “It’s like MTV Real World: Cancer Edition. What happens when you take 12 people with cancer, put the…

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