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Behind Every Surgery, There Is a Story


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Behind Every Surgery, There Is a Story
Invested Amount
$156,732 (2015 $1 Million to Help contest)


St. Mary’s Hospital Centre

Develop a source of personalized information for women preparing for breast surgery, derived from other women’s testimonials and experiences.


Many women deplore the lack of available information and support when faced with the possibility of undergoing surgery, following a diagnosis, even before the treatment plan is set up.

The St. Mary's Hospital Centre proposes to create an online application in French and English that makes it possible to learn from past experiences of women affected by breast cancer. Sharing personalized information can help shed light on personal decisions about medical treatments. Up until now sharing experiences and information was neither available nor accessible to the public. Examples of topics that are dealt with:

  • How do we feel when we see the scars after undergoing a mastectomy?
  • Has the loss of a breast affected intimacy with your partner?
  • How do you convey your choice to your doctor?
  • What can we do to promote recovery after a mastectomy?
  • I’m not comfortable with my surgeon’s approach. What can I do?
  • Etc.

This information tool will be used notably in waiting rooms at the clinic of the St-Mary’s Hospital Centre, through iPads made available to patients and through their own smartphone. Note that this tool will also provide references and contact information that leads them directly to the right resources at St. Mary’s and the surrounding area.