Breast Cancer Action Montreal (BCAM) is a non-profit community group of women and men who are sensitized to the trauma of breast cancer. BCAM educates the public about environmental toxicants and their links to breast cancer, and advocates for stricter industry regulation and stronger government policy regarding toxic chemicals in consumer products that put women at greater risk for the disease. Our work aims to improve the quality of life for women with breast cancer now and to prevent or reduce its incidence for future generations.

BCAM

Projects

FemmeToxic's goal is to educate young Canadian women about the potential dangers of cosmetics ingredients and provide people with the tools they need to create personal change and to influence national legislative reform. Refuse to be “toxified”! Demand safer cosmetics!

Prevention and Action against Cancer and Toxicants
The PACT project is an education and mobilization project for Quebec community groups with the goals of sensitizing them to the dangers of toxicants in consumer products. We also want to encourage the community to fight for regulatory change and to pressure industries to phase-out or eliminate toxicants.

3i

3I: Influence, Initiative, Impact is created to address the leadership component of FemmeToxic by working with five young women's community groups in and around Montreal. 3I will help promote young women's leadership in community, civic and political actions. This is an exciting opportunity for us to work with young leaders!

What's happening

News Briefs March 2014

Chemotherapy prolongs survival in isolated loco-regional recurrence of breast cancer. A recurrence of breast cancer in the chest wall or regional lymph nodes, without evidence of metastasis, is designated as “isolated loco-regional recurrence (ILRR)” and occursin from 5% to 40% of women within ten yearsfollowing a mastectomy with no radiation.  Recent studies have looked at chemotherapy for ILRR; this study found that chemotherapy made a significant difference for women originally diagnosed with estrogen receptor negative (ER-) cancers.  However, the authors suggest that women originally diagnosed with estrogen receptor positive (ER+) cancers may also benefit.(Aebi S, Gelber S, Anderson SJ et al.  Chemotherapy for isolated locoregional recurrence of breast cancer (CALOR): A randomised trial.The Lancet Oncology;15,2:156-163)

Rapid testingfor BRCA informs choice of mastectomy. Italian researchers studied a rapid genetic counseling and testing intervention offered to women recently diagnosed with breast cancer and at risk of BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 mutations. Whereas routine referral often took six months, this observational study used a 3- to 4-week turn-around. Moreover, routine referral takes place after surgery, whereas this trial provided information prior to surgery.  Of over one thousand women treated at the clinic in the usual way, about one in five was found to be mutation carriers; of these, one in 20 chose to have a second mastectomy.  When rapid intervention was implemented, one-third of slightly more than 100 women tested positive for a mutation and 40% of these chose a double mastectomy. Patients’ decisions were based not only on possible prolongation of their own lives but also by feelings of responsibility to their children. (Cortesi L, Razzboni E, Toss A et al. A rapid genetic counselling and testing in newly diagnosed breast cancer is associated with high rate of risk-reducing mastectomy in BRCA-1 or -2 positive Italian women. Ann Oncol.2014;25:57-63)

May 20 2014 - 1:16pm

News Briefs February 2014

Chemotherapy for triple-negative breast cancers.  Triple-negative breast cancer comprises approximately 20% of breast cancers (more common in blacks, Hispanics, younger women and those with BRCA1 mutations) and lacks the drug targets of estrogen, progesterone and HER2 receptors. The prognosis for this form of breast cancer is thus more dire. A recent study has found that adding carboplatin (Paraplatin) to the chemotherapy for Stage II or III, prior to surgery, enhances the response. The study also examined the effects of bevacizumab (Avastin) but found it inferior to Paraplatin. (William Sikov et al, Abstract S5-01. Impact of the addition of carboplatin (Cb) and/or bevacizumab (B) to neoadjuvant weekly paclitaxel (P) followed by dose-dense AC on pathologic complete response (pCR) rates in triple-negative breast cancer. San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Dec. 13, 2013)

Bisphosphonates may be useful primarily for older women with breast cancer. A German study of women with residual breast cancer looked at the effects of adding bisphosphonate (Zometa) to chemotherapy prior to surgery. There was no particular benefit for younger women (av. age 49) but it is suggested that protection against bone loss might have more positive effects for older women. More research is needed. (G. von Minckwitz et al, Abstract S5-05. Postneoadjuvant treatment with zoledronate in patients with tumor residuals after anthracyclines-taxane-based chemotherapy for primary breast cancer – The phase III NATAN study.San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Dec. 13, 2013)

Radiation not warranted in some cases.  The majority of older breast cancer patients treated with breast-conserving surgery can safely skip radiation, according to results of a trial of 1326 women, mean age of 70. Of these, 1196 women had estrogen receptor positive tumours (ER+) and the absolute benefits of radiation were considered to be relatively small.  Any potential benefit was considered to be an individual decision based on discussion between the patient and doctor. Of the 117 ER- patients in the study, radiation was considered much more important. (Ian Kunkler et al, Abstract S2-01. The PRIME 2 trial: Wide local excision and adjuvant hormonal therapy ± postoperative whole breast irradiation in women ≥ 65 years with early breast cancer managed by breast conservation. San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Dec. 11, 2013)

Apr 3 2014 - 12:44pm