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 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

News Briefs January 2014

Moderate activity affects breast cancer risk.  Walking for an hour or more each day is associated with a 14% lower risk for breast cancer according to a study conducted by the Epidemiology Research Program of the American Cancer Society.  Although it was known that intense physical activity was associated with a 25% decreased risk, it was previously unknown whether moderate activities could be protective,. Compared with sedentary women, those who engaged in 3.5 hours per week of moderately-intense activities such as walking, cycling, aerobics or dancing could expect a reduced risk of developing the disease. (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, Oct. 4, 2013;22:1906-1112 (online))

Effects of low-dose tamoxifen on recently postmenopausal women on HRT. Almost two thousand women were recruited to help determine the efficacy of low-dose tamoxifen in reducing breast cancer risk in recently postmenopausal women on HRT.  Half of the women received 5 mg. of tamoxifen daily and half received a placebo.  At follow-up after 5-7 years, it was found that 24 breast cancers had been diagnosed in women on placebo and 19 in women on tamoxifen. Tamoxifen increased menopausal hot flasahes by about 50%. (Ann Oncol 2013;24(11):2753-2760)

Compression sleeves are effective for lymphedema.  Two doctors listened to patients with early lymphedema and conducted a randomized trial to evaluate the worth of compression sleeves as compared to complex decongestive therapy (CDT), consisting of manual lymphatic massage or drainage, daily bandaging, exercise and skin care. The study enrolled 103 women who had early stage lymphedema and measured the reduction in excess arm volume from baseline to six weeks.  Compression sleeves, which are much cheaper than CDT, were shown to be just as beneficial.  The researchers conclude that massage-based treatment should not be the first line of treatment when lymphedema develops. (J Clin Oncol, Sept. 16, 2013)

Feb 14 2014 - 12:30pm