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Cancer Knowledge Network

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The Oncologist, the Patient and CKN — Sharing Knowledge

Patient Advocates at Cancer Conversations that Matter

RobinMcGeeby Dr. Robin McGee, CKN Editor


I have just returned from “Cancer Conversations that Matter” – a national event sponsored by the Canadian Cancer Action Network (CCAN) and their collaborative partner, the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC).   The event was held in Toronto.


We were cancer patients, survivors, family members, patient advocacy groups, and agency representatives.  We were brought together from across the county.  The mandate?  To discuss three key themes: 1) access to screening for low income populations; 2) collection and use of cancer data; and 3) the cancer-related needs of Canada’s aging population.


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Cancer and Work: A new interactive website

workingby Maureen Parkinson, Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor and Dr. Christine Maheu, Nurse Scientist, McGill University, Co-Principal Investigators Cancer and Work


While 60 percent of those diagnosed with cancer will return to work one to two years following treatment, 25 to 53 percent will either quit or lose their jobs. These numbers are a clear indication that there has been a need for comprehensive information to support a return to work for many cancer survivors.


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Stage IV Cancer: How Do You Cope?

debbiecornwallby Deborah Cornwall, Author


When diagnosed with cancer, you hope for a boring, run-of-the-mill, highly curable one. Yet many diagnoses pose both scientific mysteries for clinicians and personal terror for their patients.


Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is one such devastating form of cancer. It develops fast in the lymphatic system (a vital part of the immune system), usually manifesting in the form of breast skin thickening and dimpling, red hot inflammation, and dramatic swelling. Typically there’s no discrete lump and no means of detection until these physical indicators of a Stage III (metastatic) or IV (terminal) diagnosis.


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Study helps cancer survivors improve their well-being after treatment: You may be eligible





The MATCH Study: Mindfulness And Tai chi for Cancer Health. This innovative clinical trial conducted by the University of Calgary/Tom Baker Cancer Centre and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre is now recruiting cancer survivors! As a participant you get to choose which treatment approach you want, or let us assign you to a group if you are equally interested in both. We will measure program effects on psychological, physical and biological outcomes including quality of life, mood, stress, balance, blood pressure, heart rate, immune function and more! Visit for more details.



by Dr. Linda E. Carlson, Study Principal Investigator


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Using What You Already Know To Make The World a Better Place

danduffyby Dan Duffy


I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago when she told me about her impending retirement.

“What are you going to do with your free time?” I asked.

“I’m going to volunteer at the local hospital,” she said.

“That’s great! What do you want to do?” I asked.

“I’m not sure, but I figure they’ll give me something,” she said.


I wished her well in her new endeavor, but I knew that her volunteer position would not last two months. Six weeks later, she was back on her couch.

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Tools to Help Assess Your Child’s Cancer Pain


by Sue McKechnie, CKN Editor


No parent wants to see their child suffer. Each and every one of us would take on the pain felt by our child if we could. In 2006 our 16 month old son, Shawn, was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour. We went from kissing his scraped knees to supporting him through surgery, radiation, chemo and many, many pokes and prods. Helping Shawn to remain comfortable was at the centre of our every day, our every moment. Because of his young age, Shawn was unable to verbally express his needs and as much as we understood his body language, we were traversing unknown territory when it came to assessing and managing his cancer pain.

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