BC Cancer Foundation raises $85,000 to break down women's cancers

Combatting women's cancer

The BC Cancer Foundation's virtual Discovery 2020 raised $85,000 in support of the foundation's efforts to fund research into women's cancers. 

“Thank you to our generous donors for helping launch a critical campaign to break down women's cancers. Together, we will generate the momentum required to advance breast and gynecologic cancer research, find new effective therapies and save more lives,” says president and CEO of the BC Cancer Foundation Sarah Roth.

More than 5,500 people in B.C. will be diagnosed with a women’s cancer this year. This includes 3,975 women who will get breast cancer - with 700 residing in the Interior.

Discovery 2020 supports programs such as BC Cancer’s B-PRECISE initiative. Since 2017, newly diagnosed patients with breast cancer get invited to take part in this study to help clinicians better understand how their disease evolves over time as well as informing new treatment.

This type of cutting-edge research is helping patients in the Interior and across the province including Penticton’s Geneva Kostashen and Chiara Tress from Cranbrook.

Kostashen knows how important it is to have access to the latest innovations in cancer care and research. In November 2019, she found a lump in her breast right before going to one of her regular CrossFit classes.

It wasn’t long after she discovered the lump that she was told it was breast cancer.

Kostashen underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation at BC Cancer Kelowna and she is now cancer-free and living her active lifestyle again.

“All of the doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers I met were incredible - I really can't say enough great things about the care I received,” she says. “I feel very fortunate and I am forever grateful to everyone for their support.”

For patients like Tress, being able to access multiple treatment options provides hope.

After she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in 2016, the mother of three never thought the cancer would spread to her brain.

She had multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation to combat the cancer which spread to her hip and lungs but things took a turn when doctors found a spot on her brain, advancing her to Stage 4.

Following this, Tress learned she was eligible to take part in a clinical trial drug at BC Cancer Kelowna.

“I want people to see that whether you are stage 1-3 or stage 4, there is always hope,” she says. “My wish for the future of cancer is that with research they continue to come up with newer treatments that help people in their battle.”

The BC Cancer Foundation is aiming to raise $20 million for women’s cancers in the province. Currently, the foundation has raised $8.3 million towards the goal thanks to generous donors such as part-time resident Laurie Rix who has given $5 million, as well as many others.

Discovery 2020 was presented by the Bank of Montreal and Sentes Automotive.

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