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A Vow to Change the Story for Patients like Hardeep Sidhu

Hardeep (R), pictured with her husband, Herdeep and daughters, Yasmin (L) and Simran (R). As a registered nurse for over 25 years, wife and mom of two, Hardeep Sidhu dedicated her life to caring for others. Sadly, nothing could have prepared the family for the devastation that came after Hardeep discovered a lump in her chest that doctors later diagnosed as metaplastic carcinoma – a very rare breast cancer subtype affecting less than 1% of diagnosed cases. “When my mom was diagnosed on January 24, 2020, our lives felt like they had been turned upside down,” remembers her daughter, Simran. “...

An open letter of thanks to British Columbians from BC Cancer Foundation CEO, Sarah Roth

Sarah Roth, BC Cancer Foundation President & CEO Our health has never been so prominent in our collective thoughts. Notably, the shared and constant threat it’s been under. The parallels of fear, protectionism, feeling lost in the unknown, balancing hope and risk, and the realization of how we want to spend our precious time are factors cancer patients face day after day. Through the pandemic, many cancer patients have had to face much of their experience with a dramatically reduced support network, for their own safety, minimizing exposure and risk. These impacts are not lost on us or...

Navigating Life after Cervical Cancer - Kristen Hovet's STory

When then 34-year-old New Westminster resident Kristen Hovet started to experience discomfort in her pelvic region, she was quick to visit her doctor to determine any underlying causes. After a series of tests, including a pap smear and tissue sampling through BC Cancer, Kristen was given the devastating diagnosis of cervical cancer that would require a radical hysterectomy. In the days following surgery, Kristen suffered sepsis along with the news that her surgical margins weren't clear enough — meaning the cancer could have spread. Faced with a new treatment direction that would see...

A Pledge for Pediatric Cancer Outcomes in BC

Theo Lazaridis at BC Children’s Hospital For the BC families who have experienced the heartbreak of a childhood cancer, hope is now on the horizon thanks to a research partnership between BC Children’s Hospital and BC Cancer that is designed to improve outcomes for children with pediatric acute myeloid leukemia (pAML). Known as one of the most serious and hard-to-treat forms of childhood cancer, children with pAML have low survival rates, and face a high risk of reoccurrence and medical issues later in life due to treatment. “Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the second most common type of...

Tips for Losing the Booze but Keeping the Fun

Evelyn Wu, BC Cancer Clinical Dietician Lose the Booze is officially underway for the month of January! If you’re someone who enjoys the occasional cocktail, beer or glass of wine during the week, this thought of making it to the end of the month sober may feel like a massive feat. We sat down with BC Cancer ’s in-house Clinical Dietitian, Evelyn Wu for some helpful tips on drinks that will help you reach the finish line during this January's Lose The Booze campaign! The benefits of reducing alcohol consumption According to Evelyn, alcohol is a depressant drug that can slow down the parts of...

Cervical Cancer at 29 - Amin Jaswal's Story

After months of severe pain and increasing symptoms, then 29-year-old Amin Jaswal was diagnosed in June 2019 with Stage IIB glandular adenocarcinoma of the cervix (cervical cancer). Like many gynecological cancers, Amin’s was not detectable through a pap test or blood work and was ultimately identified through a vaginal ultrasound followed by a biopsy. “My first instinct when I was diagnosed was feeling of relief,” remembers Amin. “I knew something was deeply wrong for months and finally someone was validating my feelings and my pain and telling me I wasn’t crazy. The relief was also...

Lighting the path forward for lymphoma cancer - The Panusas' Story - Make a Will Week

Angela Panusa first met her Italian husband, Giovanni (John), during her work as an interpreter in China. Their connection was undeniable and, despite their different backgrounds, they ended up marrying in 1999. “John was really my first love,” remembers Angela. “The thought of me moving away from my home in China to start a life with John seemed incomprehensible in the beginning, but after spending so much time together, we eventually grew to a point where we never wanted to be apart.” ​ Yin and Yang garden that Angela and John built together at their Tsawwassen home before his diagnosis In...

Men Can Get Breast Cancer Too

In 2015, well-known Vancouver sportscaster Neil Macrae noticed a lump in his breast that was the size of a golf ball. He went to the doctor and the news that followed was shocking: it was Stage III breast cancer. Through genomic analysis, it was uncovered that Neil had the BCRCA1/2 mutation, which puts individuals at a higher risk for breast, prostate (for men), ovarian (for women) and pancreatic cancers. Neil would go on to face two other types of cancer –the third eventually took his life in 2017. Today, Neil’s widow Laurie Rix, longtime supporter of BC Cancer Foundation, is actively...

How Research is Saving Lives - Cher Stephen's Story

After dealing with the devastation of colorectal cancer, Victoria, BC resident Cher Stephens could hardly believe the news when she was diagnosed a second time with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Thrust into new treatment, Cher’s diagnosis and condition took a turn for the worst when her chemotherapy was found to be ineffective. Deemed as palliative, Cher made the decision to start on two new targeted drugs, one of which, Venetoclax, is currently being trialed at BC Cancer. In a drastic turn of events, Cher’s cancer responded, and she is now in full remission. “New medications and treatment...

A Lasting Legacy through Lung Cancer – Dr. Cynthia Chan’s Story

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...

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