Pregnancy after breast cancer : help us make it happen!
WHY WE NEED THE BABY TIME STUDY
Many people are familiar with the treatment protocols of a breast cancer diagnosis including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, but getting through those treatments is not the end of the line for the 70% of women with hormone responsive breast cancers. Most hormone responsive patients follow up their adjuvant treatment with five to ten years of endocrine therapy (such as Tamoxifen) to reduce the chances of recurrence. As a result, a young woman who is diagnosed at age 30 could be 40 by the time she can safely try to start having a family.
Rethink Breast Cancer, a Canadian charity whose mission is to empower young people who are concerned about and affected by breast cancer, is asking you to help fund the international Baby Time (POSITIVE) clinical trial in Canada to understand and overcome the challenges some women face when trying to get pregnant after cancer.
WHERE THE MONEY GOES
More than 60 breast cancer centres in 20 countries around the world are participating in the Baby Time study. Rethink Breast Cancer has committed to raising $100,000+ over the next 4 years to run the Canadian research arm of this study. But we can’t do it without your help!
We need to raise $25,000 in 2015 so that breast cancer centres across Canada can begin enrolling patients.
It costs approximately $3,000 for each woman to participate in the trial.
This includes all start up costs to get the study up and running with Health Canada and the Research Ethics Board as well as:
- recruitment and enrollment
- nursing staff costs
- data collection, analysis and reporting
- personalized care by dedicated medical team
- coordination of data with all participating centres
- follow up of each participant for up to 10 years*
- providing the Canadian data to the international centre
By raising $25,000 we will be able to cover the cost of establishing the trial at hospitals across Canada and enrolling the first five women to participate! Money raised beyond this will be used to enroll additional women throughout 2015 and ongoing over the next four years.
*Each woman will be guided through taking a break from their endocrine therapy (3 months), attempting pregnancy (up to 2 years) and then monitored (up to 10 years) to track possible recurrence of breast cancer.
The donation you make will directly support the Baby Time study enabling women from all across Canada to participate in the study. Funding the study in Canada, ensures the results will be applicable here, as well as offers Canadian women the opportunity to participate in the research.
Your money will be used to directly cover the costs involved for participants in the trial and ultimately, provide answers for future generations of young women who wish to interrupt their endocrine therapy to try to have a baby and evaluate the safety of doing so.
INTRODUCING JOY, STEPH AND JANELLE:
We are so thankful to Joy, Janelle and Steph for sharing their stories in our video but they had so much more to share! Here is a little bit more about each of these women’s touching stories.
Joy is 34 years old. About a year after she got married she discovered she was pregnant. During this time she also found a lump in her breast which turned out to be breast cancer. Unfortunately, she lost the baby shortly after her diagnosis. Knowing how much her and her partner wanted to have children she pushed to meet with a fertility specialist to do egg retrieval and embryo freezing. Unfortunately, after someone offered to be a surrogate for her, they discovered that their embryos had not survived which means that now Joy’s only options for having a family are to take a break from her endocrine therapy to have a baby herself, adopt, or wait another five years, when she’s close to 40 years old, to try and get pregnant despite a history of miscarriages in her family.
Steph was diagnosed when she was 28 years old. She had been married for nearly a year when she found out and despite dreams of starting a family together her and her husband decided against her doing any fertility preservation because there just wasn’t really enough time between surgery and chemotherapy. “It was just going to be really tight to try to preserve the embryos…and I also just didn’t feel comfortable with all the kind of hormones that you have to inject yourself with as I have hormone positive cancer.” Steph shares, “I sometimes wonder if I made the right decision but I don’t have any regrets because I know that in that moment that’s what I had to do.” Steph really hopes to be considered as a participant in the Baby Time trial.
Janelle was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 29. She was prescribed Tamoxifen for five years which would mean she would be 36 when she finished and she felt that was too late for her to start a family. So, she found an oncologist who was sympathetic and agreed to guide her in pausing her endocrine therapy to try to have a baby. She said, “I talked to a couple different oncologists [and] other women with breast cancer. I went online and there didn’t really seem to be any information as to how safe it was or what coming off Tamoxifen [would do] to the course of [my] treatment so it was really a leap of faith just to come off it and hope for the best.” She went off Tamoxifen after three years and it took her four months to get pregnant. She now has a beautiful baby girl! Janelle said “I look at my daughter Zara I feel so lucky, so blessed to have her and she’s definitely…she’s definitely worth the risk.”
CAN’T SPARE A DIME?
Even if you can’t make a donation to support this project, please share our project through your social media channels.
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