Queen's Park Turns Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Rethink Breast Cancer urges Ontario MPP's to consider the needs of young women with breast cancer in the province.

TORONTO, Oct. 1, 2013 /CNW/ - Kicking off breast cancer awareness month, Rethink Breast Cancer is meeting with Members of Provincial Parliament, and their staff, as part of their national efforts to raise awareness about the unmet needs of young women diagnosed with breast cancer.

In the spring, Rethink released the results of its first-ever, large-scale quantitative survey of younger breast cancer patients (20 to 45 years old) entitled "Breast Cancer: The Younger Woman's Journey" (http://bit.ly/1edlPG1) which found that age does have an impact on the breast cancer experience.  Women in this age group face many unique challenges that are not being met by our current health care systems.

Rethink Breast Cancer (Rethink) attributes two key factors to younger women having a more difficult breast cancer experience than older women - aggressiveness of cancer treatment and life-stage - and is putting young women on the province's agenda.

"When younger women get breast cancer, it often spreads more aggressively, leading to tougher treatments and lower survival rates," said MJ Decoteau, Executive Director of Rethink Breast Cancer.  "Add age-specific issues as fertility, diagnosis during pregnancy, childcare, and financial security, and breast cancer becomes a triple threat to younger women.  We think it is important that policy makers understand and address the unique needs of this community."

Rethink calls for action

Rethink Breast Cancer has identified two key priority areas for immediate action that could significantly assist with the challenges facing younger women diagnosed with breast cancer:  the development of a Patient Bill of Rights for Younger Women with Breast Cancer, and a call for Nurse Navigation services be available to all Canadian women.

A Patient Bill of Rights for Younger Women with Breast Cancer would ensure that all community and health care workers are aware of the unique challenges with which younger women are confronted during diagnosis, treatment and recovery.  By creating protocols, a Patient Bill of Rights would be an important step towards improving the experience of younger breast cancer patients.

Extensive research has been done on the positive impact nurse navigators can have on cancer patients. Rethink is calling for Nurse Navigation services to be available to all breast cancer patients, which would significantly improve patients access to tailored information, resources and support services for younger women.  Nurse Navigators can play a major role in supporting and upholding a Patient Bill of Rights for Younger Women with Breast Cancer.

About Rethink Breast Cancer

Rethink Breast Cancer is the first Canadian charity that focuses fearlessly and uniquely on the awareness, support, research and advocacy needs of younger women who are concerned about and affected by breast cancer. www.rethinkbreastcancer.com.

SOURCE: Rethink Breast Cancer

For further information:

Alison Gordon
416-920-0980 ex.223

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