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Tag Archives: team shan

Reflecting on Ten Years of Making a Difference for Young Women Across Canada

by Lorna Larsen RN BScN, Team Shan President


My daughter Shanna (Shan) was diagnosed late with metastatic breast cancer in early 2005.  Shan’s symptoms were misdiagnosed repeatedly by medical professionals and the cancer had time to spread. Despite her positive outlook and the predictions of hope, Shan lost her life to the disease. Shan was only 24.

As a nurse and health promotion specialist, the issue of breast cancer in young women had not come across my desk. Encouraged by colleagues and experts in the field I was asked to consider using my nursing skills and talents to fill the information gap in breast cancer awareness for young women. I took on the commitment to support my grief journey and make a difference for young women following in Shan’s footsteps.

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Breast Cancer Screening Series: Lorna Larsen

LornaLarsen2by Lorna Larsen RN, BScN, Team Shan President 


Mammograms have been considered the gold standard in breast cancer early detection for decades. Despite limitations and risk/benefit concerns mammograms have detected breast cancers early and made a positive difference for a percentage of women diagnosed. The concern about false negative and false positive results of mammography has been part of the risk/benefit discussion over the past number of years and warrants review.


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October Series: Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Shan Pic

Shanna Larsen

“Breast Cancer Connections: My personal relationship with the month of October”


by Lorna Larsen, RN, BScN, Team Shan President


It’s Shan’s hugs, smile and laughter I miss the most. Her love of life and working with children will always inspire. But it is her breast cancer story that has made a difference for young women across Canada. Shan was only 24 when she lost her life to breast cancer.


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Risk Factors for Breast Cancer in AYA Women: A Literature Review

LornaLarsenby Lorna Larsen RN, BScN, Team Shan President


AYA = 15-39 years of age

Team Shan Breast Cancer Awareness for Young Women (Team Shan) is a national charity dedicated to educating the public, health care professionals and young women about early detection, risk reduction and prevention of breast cancer. Team Shan has developed a comprehensive social marketing model to inform young women in Canada about their breast cancer risk and breast health information. Team Shan has regularly commissioned literature reviews on the current evidence available on breast cancer in young women. The reviews have guided Team Shan breast cancer awareness campaign messaging and efforts to reach this population at risk.


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Check Yourself…self-care messaging through social media

TeamShanby Lorna Larsen RN, BScN, Team Shan President


Reaching young people with their cancer risk and self-care messaging requires health promotion strategies that are both engaging and entertaining. A comprehensive approach, using multi-faceted awareness activities, has been successful in reaching this population at risk, but ongoing technical advances require innovative approaches to share vital self-care information.

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Self-Care Breast Health Messaging for Young Women: Team Shan

Shan Pic

Shanna Larsen

by Lorna Larsen, RN, BScN, Team Shan President

Caught between childhood and adulthood, adolescents and young adults (AYA) are often misdiagnosed or ignored in cancer prevention and early detection messaging. Referred to as the forgotten generation, the 15-39 age trajectory is too frequently misdiagnosed and diagnosed late with cancer. Mortality rates have not changed in decades, cancer is often very aggressive in this population at risk and no routine screening is available. Cancer awareness is an identified gap in the AYA cancer continuum.

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