Patient Centricity at the Canadian Breast Cancer Symposium

August 21, 2023

On June 15 and 16, 2023, we brought 22 members of the breast cancer community to the Canadian Breast Cancer Symposium, a national multidisciplinary medical conference for healthcare professionals who treat people with breast cancer in Toronto, Canada.

Our impact at a glance:

• Bringing patient voices and values to the conference by integrating individuals’ lived experiences into the Symposium programme, including 3 plenary presentations and one breakout session

• Educating the 400+ delegates in the audience of surgeons, oncologists, pathologists and nurses about the need for patient centricity and to engage patients as partners in their care

• Influencing the tone of the conference and constantly reminding delegates of the reason they were there

• Empowering a group of patients as conference delegates to learn about new clinical practice and research, which can help them be more confident in their own treatment decisions and understanding of the disease

• Extending the learnings and experiences of the medical conference to the broader breast cancer community

“I feel so empowered with the knowledge that was shared. I wish my husband and I were exposed to this information before we started treatment, but now I know there are resources that could help others and me moving forward.”

 Abi, patient advocate

Why patient centricity is important:

When patient centricity is achieved, it can have many benefits including better treatment compliance, enhanced communication between the patient and healthcare provider, which contributes to improved patient outcomes and overall satisfaction for all involved.

“I was so in awe of how impactful the patient voices were! [They] really drove home the message of how necessary it is to keep people living with cancer at the forefront of cancer care so we can address unmet needs, improve treatments and survival outcomes.”

Michelle, patient advocate

Symposium highlights:

Jen Pogue, Rethink Key Collaborator and MBC Advisory Board member, opened up CBCS by sharing her story, highlighting how to humanize healthcare for cancer patients. Not only did it set the tone for the symposium, the insights she shared were referenced by other delegates and presenters throughout the two-day conference. 

Vesna Zic-Côté, Rethink Key Collaborator and MBC Advisory Board member, opened the second day of the conference by bringing an MBC perspective to the delegates. She spoke about how to provide better care, support and advocacy for people living with MBC.

• Laura Moore, Rethink Key Collaborator, received a standing ovation after sharing her story. She talked about the reality of navigating breast cancer as a Black woman and the need for those working in the healthcare system to do better for those who are historically underserved due to race.

Nathalie Baudais, co-chair of Rethink’s MBC Advisory Board, spoke on a panel discussing the Pfizer x Rethink joint research grant supporting those living with MBC, highlighting how when patients, caregivers and partners work together and lean on each other’s strengths we can create change.

MJ DeCoteau, Rethink’s Executive Director and Founder, was a member of the Canadian Breast Cancer Symposium Faculty and helped bring the patient lens to the conference programme across planning and execution.

“The patient presentations were the highlight for me, and I think everyone who attended. It is incredible and so impactful having such a strong patient presence at these meetings.”

Dr. Nancy Nixon, Tom Baker Cancer Centre

Extending the learnings across the breast cancer community:

Tap each post to read the powerful captions!

Sending a heartfelt thank you to Eli Lilly, Gilead, Merck, Novartis and Seagen for supporting Rethink’s involvement with the 2023 CBCS and making it possible for us to bring advocates from the breast cancer community!

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