Breast Cancer: Putting Your Life Into Perspective

October 31/16
Nada Halaweh, Co-op Communications Assistant

One woman’s journey told through the eyes of her daughter.

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in Canada, affecting one in eight Canadian women and representing 26% of all diagnosed cancers in women. The good news is the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 88%. This means 88% of women diagnosed five years ago are living. This statistic has been stable the past several years. Thirty years ago the mortality rate was at its highest, with just a 79% survival rate. We can attribute the improvements to early detection, advances in mammography screening and improved treatments.

Behind the statistics, each woman has a unique, personal story, each a different lived experience. One of these unique experiences is my mother’s journey with this illness in 2008. She was 53 at the time, diagnosed with “Ductal carcinoma in Situ DCIS grade 2”- a technical term for the earliest stages of breast cancer. Deciding to undertake the aggressive procedure of surgical mastectomy, she felt a precious part of her body was taken from her. It led to a physical and emotional recovery.

In 2012 my mother was 5 years clear of cancer. It’s amazing how her journey with this illness changed her whole lifestyle - she cherishes every moment, keeps track of all her medication therapies properly, eats healthier and exercises more. She always tells me how difficult it is for her to stay on top of her therapy treatment even though she knows it’s part of a healthy lifestyle. In addition to her hormonal therapy, she still has her medication for Asthma, blood pressure, jaw pain and vitamins for bone health. Like many women over the age of 50, she has multiple treatments to manage.

There are many other unique stories out there. You start to put your life into perspective, seeing how easily one can be affected by any illness.

Seeing how common multiple prescription therapies are for patients with breast cancer or any other type of cancer, Your Health Report app provides an ideal solution. With this free app, you'll have access to your current and past prescriptions right on your phone - allowing you to easily share it with anyone on your healthcare team at the touch of a button. It takes the uncertainty out of sharing your prescriptions and provides a complete and accurate list for those who need to know. Your Health Report empowers you to take control of your health.

 

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About the author:

Nada Halaweh is a third year Co-op student at Mount Saint Vincent University completing her degree in Public Relations. She is currently working as the Communications Assistant at Health QR for this fall semester. She shares her mother’s story with you- overcoming the challenges of breast cancer.