Hearing you have breast cancer is an overwhelming experience. Feelings of loss, isolation, fear, and anxiety are common. It can often be challenging for Canadian families to navigate diagnosis, treatment, and care. This is especially true for patients living with metastatic breast cancer, also known as stage IV or advanced breast cancer. Many metastatic patients report a need for increased awareness and understanding of their disease to improve feelings of isolation and support.
The Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN) exists to address the concerns experienced by breast cancer patients by providing them with educational and financial resources and by connecting them with other patients to provide much-needed support.
Find support on the Canadian Breast Cancer Patient Network
A new online patient network developed by CBCN is helping to reduce the isolation that so many patients report feeling. The Canadian Breast Cancer Patient Network offers a safe discussion space for breast cancer patients, both past and present. This new private Facebook group connects patients to information, support and resources and allows patients to discuss issues of concern to them and receive helpful information and tips directly from other patients who have been there or who are currently going through the same thing.
FinancialNavigator helps ease the financial burden
CBCN understands that a breast cancer diagnosis can make a significant impact on a person’s life. Not only are breast cancer patients faced with a life-threatening illness and its impacts on their health and state of mind, but they can also be faced with a significant impact to their finances as well. From loss of income, to travel expenses, to childcare to costs of treatment, cancer can be detrimental to financial stability.
CBCN’s FinancialNavigator tool can help patients find sources of financial assistance to offset the financial burden of a cancer diagnosis. The tool features programs at the national and provincial level that either provide income support or in-kind services that can ease the impact this disease can have on everyday life. This digital tool also offers information on how to plan and prepare for the impacts of a cancer diagnosis. Under the Financial Support Resources section, we discuss planning tips, end-of-life care planning, Health Insurance and Medicare coverage, travel, taxes, and the impact a diagnosis can have on work or school.
MedSearch simplifies drug research
Many breast cancer patients also struggle to find information about which breast cancer drugs are accessible in their province. CBCN’s MedSearch tool simplifies this process by providing easily accessible information about what breast cancer drugs are publicly funded in each province and territory across Canada, including their status within the drug approval process. This digital tool allows individuals to find general information about various breast cancer treatments based on breast cancer stage. It also directs patients to information about additional funding sources for drugs that aren’t currently listed on public formularies.
Being diagnosed with breast cancer is never easy but supports and resources are available to help patients and their families feel less isolated and better prepared to navigate this complex journey.