Shortly before Dr. Cynthia Chan was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in 2014, the signs of the disease started to emerge from a cough lasting well over two weeks. As a family physician for much of her adult life, the diagnosis took her by surprise, especially as a never-smoker.
Since her diagnosis, Dr. Chan has undergone a wide array of treatments at BC Cancer, including radiation, chemotherapy, and targeted drug therapy made possible by genomics. She remains a proponent of the need for continued research for this cancer that is expected to occur in over 3,790 people this year.
These days, Dr. Chan is channeling her efforts into sharing her experience with future patients, through the writing of her book, with a working title of, Medical Knowledge – An Orientation Guide for Patient Empowerment (from experience).
This book will include topics like disease acceptance, interpreting data, and her current experience with palliative and end of life care.
Through her writing, she hopes to bring a new level of knowledge and information to readers, noting that a deeper understanding of the disease has been pivotal in her own treatment journey. This knowledge has allowed her to bring meaningful questions to her care teams, including the ability for her to understand and seek guidance related to specific symptoms.
While Dr. Chan remains committed to leaving her legacy on the patient and medical communities, her work and story will also be used to raise awareness around the importance of lung cancer screening to detect more cases while they are still treatable.
Through continued donor support, including the funds raised from this year’s 2020 Hope Couture - Hope from Home event that is raising funds for the BC Cancer lung cancer screening program, BC Cancer oncologists will have the ability to detect lung cancer at early stages, while it’s still curable.
We thank Dr. Chan for her continued dedication to ensuring current and future patients benefit from her experience, and we know she will have a lasting legacy on our work for many years to come.