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Resource spotlight: Breast cancer 

November 7, 2022

 

Written by Maria Ahmed

This article was written and researched by a CSHP student member for Interactions, our biweekly newsletter. Crafting these pieces not only helps students gain in-depth knowledge of specific conditions, treatments, and resources, it also helps them hone their skills in research, critical appraisal, evaluation, synthesis, and writing – all of which will serve them well in clinical practice. The Professional Practice Team works with the student to select topics that are of interest and utility to both the student and to you, the reader. We hope you enjoy this piece by one of our future colleagues! Let us know what you think: If you would like to provide any comments or constructive feedback for our students, please email us at practice@cshp.ca


Background

Breast cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer in Canada among women with about 1 in 8 Canadian women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Approximately 20-30% of breast cancers incorporate high levels of a protein known as human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. These cancers are called HER2+ breast cancers and are likely to be treated with targeted drug therapies. This “Resource Spotlight” contains links to associations, guidelines and foundations that help pharmacists learn more about breast cancer and its management. To learn more about targeted therapies in HER2+ breast cancer, check out CSHP’s recent Clinical Pearls article on Targeted Drug therapies for HER2+ Advanced Breast Cancer.

External Resources 

Unless otherwise noted, the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP) does not endorse or imply endorsement of the resources provided here. These resources are provided without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. It is the responsibility of the user of the resource to judge its suitability for his or her particular purpose within the context of his or her practice and the applicable legislative framework. In no event shall CSHP or any persons involved in providing the resource be liable for damages arising from its use. Resources are free unless otherwise indicated. 

Canadian Healthcare Resources  

BC Cancer incorporates a comprehensive cancer control program for people in British Columbia. It encompasses cancer research, patient resources and educational content for healthcare professionals. They are partnered with BC Cancer Foundation which supports world-leading scientists and clinicians across the province. They have a variety of special services that incorporate virtual support programs, supportive care information, and an Indigenous cancer control page to plan, coordinate and evaluate cancer to provide equitable and cost-effective health care for people living with or affected by cancer.  

Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) is the provincial government’s principal cancer advisor that equips healthcare professionals, organizations and policymakers to have the most current cancer information and tools to deliver high-quality patient care. They have educational content, guidelines, pathway maps of a patient’s journey and a clinical guide on managing symptoms to help guide people living with or affected by breast cancer.
 
The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer corporation works collaboratively with provincial, territorial, and national partners to share information and accelerate work that improves the effectiveness of cancer control in Canada. One of their partners, Canadian Cancer Trials, incorporate cancer trials where patients can take part if they are eligible in their province.

For other provincial/territorial resources, they can be found in the following links: Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon, and Northwest Territories.

International Guidelines and Healthcare Resources 
Keep in mind, these resources are not Canadian and may not be translated into Canadian practices.  

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) is an American not-for-profit alliance that incorporates 32 leading cancer centers that are devoted to patient care, research and education. It has great patient resources (available in French Canadian, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian) and updated breast cancer guidelines that can help guide healthcare professionals with information, resources and tools to successfully implement best practices. 

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world’s leading professional organization for physicians and oncology professionals caring for people with cancer. They have breast cancer guidelines that are available through the ASCO Guidelines App for free via iPhone/iPad or Android at the touch of a button. To stay up to date, they also have Podcast available on Apple or Google

The European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) is a Swiss-registered not-for-profit organization that incorporates more than 25,000 members representing oncology professionals across 160+ countries worldwide. Their main mission is to improve the quality of cancer care, from prevention and diagnosis to palliative care and follow-up. They have general educational content, breast cancer guidelines and patient resources to help clinical pharmacists in their respective practices. 

Foundations 
The Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation is an organization that provides support to women with breast cancer and aid in psychosocial support, financial aid, provide a virtual clinic and peer support within the community. The main language of communication is in French to ease the language barrier for some individuals. Their donation page can be found here.

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is an organization that unite and inspire Canadians to take control of cancer. They fund research that improves cancer outcomes and address polices that include cancer prevention, treatment access, affordability, and patient support. They have great breast cancer resources for patients that elaborate on life with cancer, life after cancer, information for caregivers, and living with advanced cancer. Their donation page can also be found here.
 

The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) in a non-profit organization that support women with breast cancer screening, navigating patients with breast cancer, educate with outreach events and provide support services for patients with breast cancer. They incorporate free educational guides, additional resources for patients and their donation page can be found here.