Today marks the official launch of the Breast Cancer Society of Canada’s Dress for the Cause and new Pin Your Pink national fundraising campaign, aligned with Breast Cancer Awareness month, both of which invite Canadians to support life-saving breast cancer research in three different ways. We chatted with Breast Cancer Society of Canada CEO Kimberly Carson to learn more. —Noa Nichol
Hi Kimberly, please tell us about BCSC to start.
The Breast Cancer Society of Canada (BCSC) is a registered national non-profit charity dedicated to saving lives through breast cancer research since 1991. We raise money to fund patient-focused research for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of breast cancer. Our mission is to save lives through breast cancer research; our vision is an end to breast cancer.
What are this year’s initiatives, and how can we participate?
BCSC invites all Canadians to donate to support breast cancer research this October to help find a cure. Individuals and organizations from across Canada can go online to register their fundraising event. Thousands will dress in pink, host bake sales and, yes, even shave a few heads to help support life-saving breast cancer research. DressForTheCause.ca allows everyone to create their own personal or team event page and share it with their friends, family and colleagues. Additionally, everyone can create a personalized, digital pink ribbon—as a survivor, in honour or in memory of a loved one. The pink ribbon can be shared on social media.
How does fundraising help?
The money raised supports patient-focused research for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of breast cancer. The Breast Cancer Society of Canada provides funding for researchers in cancer centres, universities and laboratories across the country who share our vision of an end to breast cancer and work every day supporting our mission to save lives through breast cancer research. Through research, we have learned there are more than 50 types of breast cancer and that every breast cancer patient is different. So, our focus is on translational research—working closely with physicians to develop personalized medicines, also known as precision oncology. Precision oncology allows patients to receive an accurate diagnosis, and have a personalized treatment plan—potentially avoiding unnecessary treatments such as chemotherapy developed for their specific type of breast cancer. This offers new hope to patients and their families. BCSC receives no government funding—all of our research is funded through the generosity of our donors.
What would you like people to know about breast cancer?
This year the World Health Organization declared breast cancer to be the most-diagnosed cancer in the world. More than 27,000 Canadians will be diagnosed this year alone. Survival rates have improved over the last 20 years, but there is still more to do. Only through research will we find a cure—Research Matters.