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Imagine Their Future. Without Breast Cancer. We Are.

We can create the future. Since 1986, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation has been at the forefront of a nation-wide movement to raise awareness and mobilize action against breast cancer. Today, we are the leading organization in Canada dedicated to creating our vision of a future without breast cancer. As one of four regional offices, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – Prairies/NWT Region represents Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Survivors are living proof that your support and the work of the Foundation are making positive inroads.

Our Mission To fund relevant, innovative research, and to support and advocate for the breast cancer community. Our Values Passion – We are passionate about the work we do and the role we play in advocating for the breast cancer community. Our dedication to the cause inspires us to work effectively and to continuously evolve to achieve the greatest impact. Integrity – We are ethical, accountable and transparent in the work we do. We are continually striving to ensure that donors and the public can remain confident that their dollars are used wisely in carrying out our vision.

Community – We recognize the invaluable contribution of our volunteers, whose dedication, support and commitment makes our work possible. Founded by a group of dedicated volunteers, we remain community-driven to this day. Impact – We fund research and undertake initiatives that have the greatest impact and benefit for the breast cancer community. We are dedicated to leading the way in support of our vision of creating a future without breast cancer.

Respect – We promote trust, collaboration and open communication to help create a positive community that maximizes the potential of all individuals. We strive to create an environment where problem solving and feedback are encouraged and valued. Leadership – We are committed to serving as a trusted leader in the breast cancer community. As a resource in the areas of breast health and breast cancer, our positions will always be informed, evidence-based and forward-thinking.

C ana d ian B r e ast C anc e r F o u n dation – P rairi e s / N W T R e g ion | C R E AT I N G A F U T U R E W I T H O U T B R E A S T C A N C E R



C ana d ian B r e ast C anc e r F o u n dation – P rairi e s / N W T R e g ion | C R E AT I N G A F U T U R E W I T H O U T B R E A S T C A N C E R

Imagine if your only lifeline was hope. The numbers are staggering. An estimated one in nine women who live to the age of 90 will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point. For the more than 22,000 Canadian women and men who are diagnosed with breast cancer each year—and for the tens of thousands more whose lives are turned upside down by the diagnosis of someone they care about—the future can be frightening. A breast cancer diagnosis often means taking life day by day, moment by moment, hanging on to hope to get through the most difficult times.

We channel the expertise and experience of people who are the very best in tackling breast cancer. We are driven by the hope, talent and generosity of everyone who has been touched and shares in our vision.

Together, we have the power to change the future—for everyone.

C ana d ian B r e ast C anc e r F o u n dation – P rairi e s / N W T R e g ion | C R E AT I N G A F U T U R E W I T H O U T B R E A S T C A N C E R


Supporting groundbreaking work that makes a difference. Your support is integral to our success. Your contributions are used to make a tangible difference in an efficient manner and in innovative areas where real change is possible. With scientific rigour, accountability, fairness and transparency, we impact the lives most affected by breast cancer.

Our Priorities Everything we do – the education programs we support and the research we fund – seeks to answer the most compelling clinical questions, meet the needs of patients and provide relevant education.


Supporting innovation with the potential to change the world

Empowering communities to raise awareness

Giving people more reasons to celebrate

The key to creating a future without breast cancer rests in taking educated risks based on evidence-based science. We support research containing a high degree of innovation or novelty, as well as projects designed to establish preliminary data that will lead to new and potentially world-changing knowledge.

By partnering with diverse community organizations, we reach out to women and men where they live and work with information that changes their perceptions of the disease and, most importantly, helps them change how they live.

Through our work, we are reminded time and again that every moment of every life is something to celebrate. A funding priority is support for projects that improve quality of life for those diagnosed with breast cancer, and that increase knowledge about risk-reduction practices and the benefits of early detection.

C ana d ian B r e ast C anc e r F o u n dation – P rairi e s / N W T R e g ion | C R E AT I N G A F U T U R E W I T H O U T B R E A S T C A N C E R

Every moment of every life is something to celebrate. We’re giving people more moments through research, risk reduction, improved awareness, and better quality of life.

C ana d ian B r e ast C anc e r F o u n dation – P rairi e s / N W T R e g ion | C R E AT I N G A F U T U R E W I T H O U T B R E A S T C A N C E R


Research lights the way. 35 years ago, people diagnosed with breast cancer faced a different future than they do today. Thanks to the work you help fund, we’ve moved closer to a future without breast cancer. With further funding what will happen in another 10 years? Outcome





Personalized medicine.


88% of women diagnosed with breast cancer will survive for at least five years.

Women have the option to choose lumpectomy (removal of the cancer/lump) followed by local radiation therapy for early stage cancer so they can keep their breasts

Mammography is common and effective and additional screening technology like breast ultrasound is available while new technologies that detect smaller, earlier breast cancers are being tested.


Mortality rates have decreased.

Lumpectomy is a breast-conserving surgery that can have physical and emotional advantages over mastectomy. Not only is lumpectomy a relatively non-invasive procedure, but women no longer have to face the emotional impact of losing their breast and the effects this can have on their self esteem, body image, and sexuality; however, some women may have more peace of mind if the entire affected breast is removed. The important thing is, today women have the option to choose.

Since organized breast screening programs began in Canada in the late 1980’s, mammography has helped reduce deaths from breast cancer by more than 35%. Cancer screening is so important because when breast cancer is detected at an earlier stage, most patients have more treatment options, less invasive forms of treatment and a better chance of survival of the disease. In this way, earlier detection has helped improve the length and quality of life for people diagnosed with breast cancer while reducing breast cancer death rates.

35 Years Ago

75% of women diagnosed with breast cancer survived for five years.

Mastectomy (removal of the breast) was the only accepted surgical treatment.

Mammography for breast cancer screening was in a trial stage.

C ana d ian B r e ast C anc e r F o u n dation – P rairi e s / N W T R e g ion | C R E AT I N G A F U T U R E W I T H O U T B R E A S T C A N C E R

“ Although I have seen many positive changes in cancer treatments over the last 20 years, I still see many survivors struggling with the side effects of cancer and its treatment. For this reason, I know the work I am doing is important to help them as they return to normal activities.” – Dr. Margaret McNeely, University of Alberta




Women have access to a combination of systemic (e.g., chemotherapy and hormonal therapy) and local (e.g., radiation) treatments, allowing for personalized and more effective treatment plans.

Genetic counselling and testing are available to those who have a family history of breast cancer so they are aware of and can manage their cancer risk.

Minimally invasive techniques allow for prompt diagnosis, earlier detection, more treatment options and a better chance of survival.

Different therapies target different types and stages of breast cancer and therefore treatment plans have become personalized. Local treatment (take effect only in the area of the body where applied) can be used in combination with systemic treatments (effect the entire body) in order to shrink tumor size pre-surgery, eliminate cancer post-surgery, prevent recurrence, or even prevent breast cancer in women at high risk of developing the disease.

Genetic counselling and genetic testing have become available to those individuals who have a family history of breast cancer. If a harmful mutation is found, several options are available to help a person manage their cancer risk. Genetic testing can help you better understand your personal risk of breast cancer; learn about ways to reduce your risk with lifestyle changes; to explore medical options that reduce risk; to set up regular breast cancer screening and medical check-ups for your breast health and to detect breast cancer earlier.

Today, these minimally invasive techniques allow for the prompt diagnosis of the condition. If it does turn out to be breast cancer, earlier detection leads to more treatment options and a better chance of surviving the disease.

Post-surgical chemotherapy and hormonal therapy were in the early stages of investigation.

Genes associated with an increased risk of breast cancer had not been identified.

Conclusive diagnosis was based only on surgery and pathology.

C ana d ian B r e ast C anc e r F o u n dation – P rairi e s / N W T R e g ion | C R E AT I N G A F U T U R E W I T H O U T B R E A S T C A N C E R


It’s already happening. We’re moving closer. Discovering a genetic marker for breast cancer recurrence could renew hope for patients and their families. You’ve survived breast cancer, only to have it come back after a decade or more, and now the disease is more aggressive and may be resistant to available treatments. This frightening scenario is faced by large numbers of women, many of who do not survive. But the discovery of a genetic Dr. Sambasivarao Damaraju CBCF – PNWT Region Research marker that predicts the Grant Recipient risk of recurrence is a beacon of hope for the future. Dr. Sambasivarao Damaraju, a professor with the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, and at the Cross Cancer Institute, and his team tested the DNA of 369 women in Alberta and discovered the marker. Like 70 percent of the population with breast cancer, the women had been diagnosed with good prognosis breast cancer (called Luminal A type), which has an excellent survival rate and is not treated with the aggressive treatments used for other types of breast cancer. But for 15 to 20 percent, the cancer recurs and is often fatal.


“The current practice is to avoid over-treating the patient, so people with good prognosis breast cancer don’t receive very aggressive treatments. Why subject all patients to adverse drug reactions and lower quality of life when only a subset have a predisposition for the disease to recur? But if we know which of the subset is going to show recurrence, we can administer aggressive therapies and potentially prevent the recurrence,” says Dr. Damaraju. Dr. Damaraju is conducting a second study with a large sample of 2,000 patients to reconfirm the findings. His team also wants to find out if markers identified for good prognosis breast cancer also serve as prognostic markers for other more aggressive forms. “It’s very likely that some of these markers are common to all forms of breast cancer subtypes and others are unique to each type. To comprehensively address the identification of risk for breast cancer recurrence across all types, additional funding and resources are needed,” says Dr. Damaraju. Continued research in this area is critical and the discovery could make a phenomenal difference.

C ana d ian B r e ast C anc e r F o u n dation – P rairi e s / N W T R e g ion | C R E AT I N G A F U T U R E W I T H O U T B R E A S T C A N C E R

The identification of genetic markers for risk of recurrence would allow doctors and oncologists to better customize treatments and ultimately increase the chance of survival. Dr. Damaraju is grateful for the support of the CBCF – Prairies/NWT Region. “The support of patients, survivors, families, and donors for our research is quite inspiring, and we are doing everything possible to be able to offer them the kind of hope that they have invested in us,” he says. “We continue to work hard to meet the expectations of the community, toward bettering the lives of those affected.”

“ Breast cancer is a disease that affects women at all ages. Many of them have children who end up with the great loss of not having a mother, or never get to know their grandmothers, aunts or cousins.”

– Dr. Manijeh Pasdar

Breast cancer has a profound impact on every life it touches – directly and indirectly. Equally profound is the incredible difference we can make together.

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Research gave her better treatments, more options, and more control over a difficult experience. confusion of a little boy who didn’t understand what was happening or why mommy’s hair was falling out. Serious and uncomfortable side effects meant frequent visits to the hospital and the stress of the situation took a toll on her marriage.

Dana Nemecek, breast cancer survivor

Dana Nemecek was a busy mom of a two-yearold and full-time social worker when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 34. Having watched her own mother go through treatment for the disease 20 years before and survive, Dana had some idea of what to expect. What she didn’t realize was how much the research that had been done in the intervening years had changed available treatments. “The drugs I was on were very different. They have all kinds of new things that can help,” says Dana. The journey wasn’t easy. Dana continued to work full time and had to deal with the heartbreaking


But that didn’t stop Dana from taking a highly involved approach to her treatment, conducting her own research and questioning her medical team’s recommendations. Initially, her surgeon outlined a treatment plan of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation, a process that would take a year and that is accepted protocol for a patient like Dana. Dana underwent chemotherapy and surgery, choosing a bilateral mastectomy. During the mastectomy, surgeons did not find any signs of cancer, which is quite unusual. Generally, chemotherapy shrinks or slows the growth of the tumour, which is then removed surgically. The fact that the chemotherapy had been so effective for Dana combined with her choice to have more extensive surgery than had been recommended led her to question whether radiation was necessary. “The study that found a significant improvement for women who do radiation at this point was from about 20 years ago. The drugs have entirely changed since then. Because it’s accepted

C ana d ian B r e ast C anc e r F o u n dation – P rairi e s / N W T R e g ion | C R E AT I N G A F U T U R E W I T H O U T B R E A S T C A N C E R

protocol, they recommend it, but in talking to my radiation oncologist, my oncologist, and the whole treatment team, we determined that radiation would only improve my odds by about four percent,” she says. Dana opted out of radiation and, four years later, is cancer-free. Dana, who participates in the CIBC Run for a Cure each year, attributes her positive outcome to organizations like the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – Prairies/NWT Region and those who support them. She’s a living example of the power of research that leads to new and more effective treatments, and more choices for people with breast cancer, and she believes that there are more discoveries to come.

She’s a living example of the power of research that leads to new and more effective treatments... “Survival rates have increased greatly over the last 20 years. Even women diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer have much greater odds of surviving. That’s all due to research and ongoing protocol changes, and the only way to keep that going is through the support of people who want a future without breast cancer,” says Dana.

The next ten years are critical. Today, cancer research happens on many compelling fronts. Over the next decade, we’re determined to make significant strides in creating a future without breast cancer. We’re focused on investing in researchers who are making a real, tangible difference. We believe in funding young researchers at the start of their careers, a time when enthusiasm and creativity abound, building a network of researchers for years to come. We also believe education is important, because a healthy future starts with good information. Together, we will strive to: • Discover the causes • Improve early detection

• Ensure diagnosis is precise • Discover better treatments

• Improve quality of care and service • Educate

With this commitment, we will support innovative initiatives in: Education of breast health across demographics, services and support opportunities, and ways to reduce individual risk. Aspiration – Educate individuals on breast health and breast cancer so they can make informed lifestyle choices to reduce risk and engage in screening and early detection practices as appropriate.

Support/Services and Training, providing programming, services

Risk Prediction and Reduction to help determine individual levels

research investments in genome, biomarkers, genetics, and the biology of cancer and breast cancer subtypes. Aspiration – Improve methods of personalized treatment to increase impact and provide a positive prognosis.

– low, medium or high – of risk of breast cancer and develop methods to identify and reduce those risk levels for individuals. Aspiration – All individuals can know their level of risk for developing breast cancer and the appropriate measures to reduce it, thereby changing the future for thousands of women.

Early Detection, including research that assists in finding cancer before symptoms are caused, to provide opportunities for early treatment, which will improve patient survival rates and quality of life. Aspiration – Improved approaches and methods for early detection and diagnosis.

and information for those living with breast cancer. Aspiration – All those living with breast cancer have access to the support and services needed for positive quality of life throughout their cancer journey.

Diagnosis/Prognosis and Response Prediction through

Targeted Treatment to assist in slowing cancer growth, killing cancer cells, or relieving cancer symptoms in order to move toward the development of customized treatment. Aspiration – New treatments targeting specific breast cancers, including subtypes, tailored to individual patient needs.

C ana d ian B r e ast C anc e r F o u n dation – P rairi e s / N W T R e g ion | C R E AT I N G A F U T U R E W I T H O U T B R E A S T C A N C E R


Improving survivor rates by 10% in the next five years means 545 additional people each year diagnosed with breast cancer will survive.

Together anything is possible. Become part of an amazing future. Breast cancer research and health and education initiatives require ongoing resources and commitment. Through commitment we will continue making advancements, discovering breakthroughs, and forging a future where breast cancer is like a common infection, preventable or treatable. From personalized treatments which will enable doctors to accurately predict risk and design the most effective treatment plan, to being able to determine a woman’s risk of recurrence, we will be closer to achieving our vision of creating a future without breast cancer. It’s a vision, six words with incredible impact, but the word – creating – runs deeper than a vision. Together, we’re creating a future in which women look to tomorrow with anticipation and strength. Together, we’re creating an environment of forward thinking. Thinking inside the box is gone, because today, overcoming breast cancer requires working in a world without limits.


C ana d ian B r e ast C anc e r F o u n dation – P rairi e s / N W T R e g ion | C R E AT I N G A F U T U R E W I T H O U T B R E A S T C A N C E R

Contact us today. Discover how you can help create a future without breast cancer. Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – Prairies/NWT Edmonton 700 – 10665 Jasper Ave. Edmonton, AB T5J 3S9 Telephone: 780.452.1166 Toll-free: 1.866.302.2223 Fax: 780.451.6554 Calgary 300 – 1324 17 Ave. SW Calgary, AB T2T 5S8 Telephone: 403.209.2233 Fax: 403.209.2366 Saskatoon 2 – 1124 8th Street East Saskatoon, SK S7H 0S4 Toll-free: 1.866.302.2223 Winnipeg 304 – 1 Wesley Ave. Winnipeg, MB R3C 4C6 Telephone: 204.231.4885 Toll-free: 1.866.267.3948 Fax: 204.231.4910 Charitable Registration No. 12799 3608 RR0001

“ Every woman’s body is a gift – gifts that we should care for and protect. I believe in a future without breast cancer because I have to. Because the alternative is a future of lost mothers, wives, sisters and best friends. I need to know that my loved ones – and women all over the world – won’t have to suffer, or face an early death because of breast cancer. I want to be peaceful knowing that I don’t have to think about what life would be like without my Mom.” – Sydney, daughter of breast cancer survivor

CBCF – Prairies/NWT Region Case for Support  

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – Prairies/NWT Region Case for Support