Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women, but the good news is more and more women are surviving. In fact, they’re living longer than ever with the disease which is why breast cancer is now considered a chronic disease. And in Calgary the Breast Cancer Supportive Care Foundation is there to support these women at any point on their cancer journey.
BCSC is a not for profit organization run by medical professionals. Medical Director Dr. Ardythe Taylor explains the care they offer is “like a step up from the family doctor and a step down from the cancer team.”
Brenda Ortlieb, a breast cancer survivor, says BCSC “was a godsend.” Brenda was diagnosed with breast cancer in June of 2013. She had a mastectomy and then four rounds of chemotherapy. She says after her mastectomy which she had at the end of June, both her family physician and her surgeon were on holiday when her pathology report became available in early July. Her friend recommended BCSC and Brenda met with Dr. Taylor for an hour to figure out her next steps, something Brenda says is “unheard of” with a physician. Brenda says her family and particularly her youngest son was struggling with her diagnosis, but Dr. Taylor met with Brenda’s son and then had him sit down with one of the BCSC psychologists who was very helpful.
There are a wide range of resources at BCSC including six family doctors, nurses, social workers, a psychologist and psychiatrist all with specialized training in dealing with cancer and its impact on patients and families. Many family doctors refer breast cancer patients to BCSC, but patients can also refer themselves.
The goal is to maximize each patient’s resources and supports in order to get best outcome possible.
And the best part is all these professionals are available to patients and their families for free.
The Breast Cancer Supportive Care’s annual fundraiser Fashion With Compassion is this Sunday at the Hyatt. Go here for more information.
Click here for more information on the Foundation itself.