Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, BC/Yukon Chapter

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, BC/Yukon Chapter

October 24, 2005 10:00 ET

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, BC/Yukon Chapter (CBCF): New Navigation Map Introduced as a Tool to Inform & Guide Women Newly Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 24, 2005) - The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, BC/Yukon Chapter (CBCF), with financial support from the Canadian Cancer Society's BC and Yukon Division, today announced a new information piece called the Navigation Map, which will assist women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

This illustrated "road map" begins at the stage of initial diagnosis and follows a path through all the possible steps until treatment is finished and beyond. Using a general time frame, the map takes women with breast cancer - and their families and friends - through the steps of what happens, gives useful suggestions along the way, and provides resources for finding additional information. In the timeline, road signs indicate where important decisions will need to be made. The map's purpose is to give women the tools they will need to face the journey ahead and make the decisions that are right for them.

"After the CBCF released, in 2002, a study of women across BC to determine what the gaps were in women's knowledge of breast cancer and the gaps in service delivery to women experiencing the disease, it became apparent that once women were diagnosed with the disease they immediately felt overwhelmed and unable to cope with the diagnosis and the steps that followed," said Jan Engemoen, Executive Director of the CBCF. "They didn't feel they were armed with all of the appropriate tools to help themselves. Since this was such a significant reported need, the CBCF set out to fill it. One of our mandates is to develop tools and programs in supportive care to assist women living with breast cancer." A copy of the research study and report, Uncovering the gaps: An inquiry of breast care in British Columbia, is available from the CBCF.

To develop the map's content, CBCF put together a task force that included breast cancer survivors, doctors, surgeons, oncologists and other professionals from the BC Cancer Agency, as well as individuals from the Alliance for Breast Cancer Information and Support, BC & Yukon. Over a two-year period, the group worked together to identify the information that would be most useful, and to decide how to present the information so that it would be easy to read and understand.

"What we have today," stated Dr. Moira Stilwell, Chair of the CBCF Board and Clinical Associate Professor of Radiology at UBC and Co-Medical Director of Breast Health at BC Women's Hospital, "is content in a format that can truly help women with breast cancer. No such succinct and easy to read or use item previously existed, and we heard in our Gap Analysis that women in this province needed it to cope. Now we are pleased to be able to provide this information about the steps that begin with 'what happens when you're diagnosed' through the various stages of treatment for breast cancer. We've indicated where important decision points will be in one's journey with the disease as we know that if women have an idea of what's ahead of them and have information and knowledge, or know where to get additional information, they can best deal physically and emotionally with the disease. We tested this document on women who have been newly diagnosed, and on those who have had the disease, to make sure it is effective."

The CBCF's Navigation Map is now available in an information kit, given out to all women newly diagnosed with breast cancer in BC. To acquire a free copy of the Navigation Map or Information Kit, contact the Canadian Cancer Society's Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333 or download a copy off the internet at Copies are also available through the Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon Division's six regional offices located in: Victoria, Vancouver, Langley, Kelowna, Prince George, Cranbrook, and in Whitehorse, Yukon. Doctor's offices throughout BC also have the maps on hand for their patients.

For further media information or information on the Navigational Map, or to speak with Dr. Moira Stilwell or members of the task force who put together the map, please contact: Janet Mitchell, or ph. (604) 603-4218.

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