Rethink’s advocacy work boldly puts the issues that matter to those with breast cancer on the agenda.
We work closely with young people when we do our advocacy work, placing them at the center of making much-needed changes to improve breast cancer services, treatment, education and research for all people.
To get involved in our Movements for Change please click on the links below or contact us.
Movements for Change
You count when you are counted.
#MakeMBCCount : You deserve more accurate and inclusive data about MBC.
Dear friends with MBC – I just wanted to say I see you.
Read Laura’s letter explaining why it’s important to be there for your MBC friends, especially as an early stage member of the breast cancer community
Because it’s important – like life and death important – for people like me.
Learn why Vesna and others with MBC need you to make noise now.
Funding for cancer treatment shouldn’t depend on how old or young you are. That’s not fair.
#BitterestPill: Accessing take-home cancer treatments
Advocate for People with Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC)
Be An MBC Ally
Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) is breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body. People living with MBC have unique needs and concerns that too often aren’t represented, understood or acknowledged. And many times they aren’t counted or considered against a sea of pink ribbons.
Young people with MBC live with uncertainty, going from scan to scan, no more than two or three months at a time. They try to find a balance between living in the moment but also struggle to make plans for the future. They often live in conflict of achieving their “bucket list” or life legacy while balancing the needs of their families and loved ones, and their health.
How do you become an MBC Ally:
- Sign the pledge here
- Once you’ve signed, educate and encourage friends and family to become Allies too and increase the strength of our collective voices.
- Stay connected so you can take action when the community needs you
- Follow MBC issues on Rethink’s social channels and answer the call to share information, sign a petition or stand up for those with MBC – like making noise about the need to #makeMBCcount
- Show courage and compassion
- Listen to, learn from and follow their lead on how you can support them. And while it may raise fears of recurrence or of losing them someday, be brave with us.
Already an Ally? Click here to get some graphics to help you spread the word.
When we stand together, we strengthen our power to drive change and improve the lives of all with breast cancer.
Advocating For Drug Access
As more new, innovative targeted cancer treatments are being developed, drug access continues to be an incredibly important aspect of Rethink’s ongoing advocacy work. We continue working with other patient groups, coalitions and cancer organizations to call for system change and more efficiencies throughout the entire process of Canadian drug approval and reimbursement process.
At the same time, we collaborate with these various bodies involved by ensuring the voice and values of breast cancer patients are considered in their decision making. This includes submitting input into drug reviews conducted by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (aka CADTH), the organization that reviews the clinical and cost-effectiveness of a drug and provides a recommendation to the public drug plans on whether or not a drug should be reimbursed for public funding.
Rethink conducts surveys and gathers the community’s direct feedback and experiences with the treatment under review. This includes in-depth patient profiles, where decision-makers can read the real stories of some in the breast cancer community and how these cancer drugs directly impact them. Check out some of Rethink’s submissions to CADTH below. Learn more on how new cancer drugs get to market in Canada here.
Our Advocacy Wins
MBC IN THE DARK
10,000 Rethinkers signed the #MBCintheDARK petition. They committed to making our health system better for everyone by bringing the voices and values of women with metastatic breast cancer into the light and called for improved transparency and accountable timelines. After meetings with decision makers and leveraging the power of our network, pCPA announced their benchmarks for shorter timelines to negotiate drug prices and sign and letter of intent. Proof our voices made a difference – the next breast cancer drug was negotiated in half the time as the one before!
ONCOTYPE DX TEST FUNDING
We brought our advocacy messages to the provincial legislature in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Nova Scotia, calling for greater access to tumour profiling tests, which provide valuable information oncologists and patients can use to personalize a treatment plan and make decisions around treatment options. Our work paid off! All three provinces announced they will fund the Oncotype Dx test for all eligible women in those provinces.
DECONSTRUCTING BREAST RECONSTRUCTION
In December 2013, Rethink met with the Minister of Health in Ontario to address the lengthy wait-times for women who are at high risk of developing breast cancer and choose prophylactic mastectomies. Since that meeting, The Breast Reconstruction Working Group and Expert Panel at Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) was commissioned to examine this issue and advise on best practices. This information will help inform CCO and the Ministry on the needs for related services, and address recommendations for the optimal delivery of breast cancer reconstruction services in the province of Ontario.