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A few examples of investments made by the Foundation that you can benefit from in your area are given below.

Lymphedema Prevention and Treatment in Montréal and Québec City (in Partnership)

Because lymphedema affects one in four breast cancer patients and survivors, the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation considers it crucial to take action for the prevention and treatment of lymphedema. For instance, the Foundation contributes to physiotherapy services offered in Montréal and Québec City to post-breast cancer lymphedema patients. Similar services are offered in hospitals located in other parts of the province. We suggest that you talk to your oncologist or pivot nurse for details about services available at your health facility.

In Montréal

Thanks to your donations, the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation was able to make a contribution to the founding of the Lymphedema Support Centre of the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. The $1.5 million contributed by the Foundation is making it possible for a greater number of women who have been affected by and who have survived breast cancer to receive better care for lymphedema.

The Lymphedema Support Centre of the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation was inaugurated on February 1, 2015 at the new McGill University Health Centre located at 5252 de Maisonneuve Boulevard in Montréal. This is the only medical centre in Quebec that specializes in the treatment evaluation of lymphedema. The team offers evaluation, consultation and referral services not only to MUHC patients, but to anyone living in Quebec who is suffering from breast cancer and is affected by primary or secondary lymphedema.

If you are a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer, and either have questions on lymphedema or are living with a secondary lymphedema, we recommend that you discuss your options with your medical team.

Anyone being treated for breast cancer who is at risk of having or has lymphedema may obtain a doctor’s referral to the Lymphedema Support Centre of the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation, by fax at 514 489-2178.

In Québec City

Since 2012, thanks to a contribution from the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation, the Centre des Maladies du sein Deschênes-Fabia has a full-time physiotherapist at the disposal of women with breast cancer-related lymphedema. The role of the physiotherapist is to assess, at the request of a physician from the Centre des Maladies du sein, the patient’s postoperative physical condition and to determine if a personalized physiotherapy program is necessary. Following the assessment, patients in need may receive from eight to twelve physiotherapy sessions free of charge. For more information on the physiotherapy service, visit centredesmaladiesdusein.ca (French only).

About Lymphedema

Lymphedema is brought about by a compromised lymphatic system and is characterized by the painful swelling, usually of an arm or a leg, caused by the inability of the lymphatic system to adequately drain the fluids and proteins. The swelling may cause the patient to feel a stiffness or heaviness in the arm, as well as pain. If not treated promptly, the loss of mobility in the limb could also lead to disability and psychological distress in the patient.

Lymphedema occurs in people who have undergone surgery or radiotherapy, and mainly in breast cancer patients. In some cases, it may take several years to manifest after treatment. Moreover, it is an incurable disorder, which is why it is crucial that preventative and awareness-raising measures are put in place to promote early diagnosis.

To learn more about lymphedema and preventing sequelae:

  • Lymphedema Association of Quebec
  • Preventing sequelae
  • Recommended post-breast cancer exercises

To obtain lymphedema-related financial assistance:

  • Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (French only)
  • Financial Assistance Program of the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation, supported by the Pharmaprix AIMEZ. VOUS. Fund

Exercise Program for Women with Breast Cancer in Montréal and Québec City (in Partnership)

Many studies have shown the benefits of physical activity on all forms of cancer. However some patients become inactive after diagnosis due to exhaustion during and after treatment. Some may wish to resume activity but experience obstacles such as reduced muscle strength, lack of training centres adapted to their needs, lack of resources, lack of motivation, information and/or time. To help women with breast cancer reclaim a high quality of life, maximize the effectiveness of medication and reduce side effects of treatment, the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation concluded that it is important to invest in this form of complementary treatment.

In Montréal

Women with breast cancer from the Montréal area can take advantage of the services of a kinesiologist specialized in oncology through the “Bougez pour la vie” program. Set in a fun, relaxed environment, the program allows women treated for breast cancer to: 

  • do private and group workouts;
  • receive lifestyle and fitness counselling;
  • attend workshops on physical activity.

For more information about this service:

Fondation Virage
1560 Sherbrooke St. East, suite K1253-1
Pavillon Mailloux 
CHUM, Hôpital Notre-Dame
Phone: 514 890-8000, ext. 28139
E-mail: virage@viragecancer.org

In Québec City

An exercise program designed as a complementary quality-of-life therapy for women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer is currently available at Centre des Maladies du sein Deschênes-Fabia, thanks to a financial contribution made by the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. Group and/or individual sessions led by a certified kinesiologist are available.

Within this program, you can:

  • maintain or improve your quality of life during treatment;
  • increase your motivation to exercise;
  • reduce the intensity of treatment side effects;
  • facilitate your return to normal life after treatment;
  • learn how to integrate an exercise routine into your daily life.

For more information about this service:

Centre des Maladies du sein Deschênes-Fabia, CHU de Québec
1050 Sainte-Foy Road
Phone: 418 681-7511, ext. 4938
E-mail: Myriam.fillion.1@ulaval.ca

Support and Guidance Services in the Gaspé Region (in Partnership)

The Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation is proud to contribute to support services provided to women with breast cancer in the Gaspé region, through an investment in the Organisme gaspésien des personnes atteintes de cancer (OGPAC).

OGPAC’s mission consists in improving the well-being of people affected by cancer and of their loved ones, at every stage of the disease. Services are available mainly in the regional municipalities of Avignon and Bonaventure. 

A variety of services such as the following are available: support and guidance, home visits within the region, assistance in filling out forms, get-together over coffee, wellness days, seminars and various support workshops. 

For more information on the services offered:

49 Perron Blvd. East
Phone: 418 759-5050 or 1 888 924-5050 
E-mail: ogpac@globetrotter.net

Support for Families with a High Risk of Developing Breast Cancer: Québec City and Eastern Quebec (in Partnership)

Centre ROSE (Centre de ressources en oncogénétique pour le soutien et l’éducation des familles à risque de cancer du sein; Oncology Resource Centre for the Support and Education of families at risk of breast cancer) aims to meet the needs of people with a hereditary predisposition to breast cancer. These services are intended for patients who are, or who have been in consultation with the oncogenetics department at the Centre des Maladies du sein Deschênes-Fabia. 

Services offered to families at high risk include individual psychosocial support with a social worker, group sessions on a variety of topics, peer counselling, and maintainance of a documentation centre to complement care and services provided by the Centre des Maladies du sein Deschênes-Fabia of the CHU de Québec.

For more information about this service:

Centre ROSE
Centre des Maladies du sein Deschênes-Fabia, CHU de Québec
1050 Sainte-Foy Road 
Phone: 418 682-7511, ext. 4621
E-mail: centre_rose@uresp.ulaval.ca

Home-Based Palliative Care and Palliative Care Volunteer Training (in Partnership)

Fédération du mouvement Albatros du Québec (FMAQ) is a charitable organization focusing on palliative care. It is comprised of local Albatros chapters in Quebec. 

The FMAQ offers complementary services as well as palliative care volunteer training. Albatros volunteers accompany people with serious illnesses and those in palliative care. This service can be provided at home, or in a hospital and hospice setting.

Albatros volunteers are trained to provide a beneficial presence, to listen to patients, and help make life as comfortable as possible until the end. They also provide support for loved ones before and after a person’s passing. The organization offers a basic 36-hour training program as well as continuous training and programs designed specifically for palliative care units. Training programs are open to anyone interested, including healthcare professionals.

For more information on training programs or to inquire about complementary services, contact: 

Fédération du mouvement Albatros du Québec
2830 des Forges Blvd.
Phone: 819 375-8533
E-mail: info@mouvement-albatros.org

Wellness Services in the Bas-St-Laurent Affordable Massotherapy in Montréal, Québec, Trois-Rivières, Gatineau, Sherbrooke, Laval, Laurentians and Abitibi

The Association du cancer de l’Est du Québec wellness centre is open since 2014 thanks to a contribution made by the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. This centre is a humane response to the needs of the constantly increasing number of people dealing with breast cancer in the regions of Bas-St-Laurent, Côte-Nord and Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Several areas in this new centre have been set up to welcome hundreds of women and their loved ones. The following are examples of services provided in Rimouski: massage, visualization, small group and art therapy workshops. An outdoor terrace called Foundation’s Pink Space is also available. The place and its name evoke a feeling of serenity and softness.

As of 2015, another subsidy from the Foundation made it possible to extend the range of services being offered and to deploy new services intended in particular to women diagnosed with breast cancer living in eastern Quebec.

Specifically, the following is available:

  • Rimouski, Amqui, Matane, Rivière-du-Loup and Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac: a series of art therapy workshops given by a licenced art therapist;
  • Rimouski, Rivière-du-Loup, La Pocatière, Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac, Amqui and Matane: workshops on sexuality for women affected by cancer and their partners;
  • Rimouski: a support group for the bereaved;
  • several regions of eastern Quebec: a service in oncology massotherapy.

To learn more about these services: 

Association du cancer de l'Est du Québec
Phone: 1 800 463-0806
E-mail: info@aceq.org
Web site: aceq.org

Support for Partners and Caregivers of Women Diagnosed With Breast or Ovarian Cancer

The Caregiver Network (TCN) has developed a free series of webinar, released for the first time between October 15 and November 26, 2015, which is intended to help the partners or spouses of affected women support them through breast or ovarian cancer. The series is organized by The Caregiver Network (TCN) in partnership with Willow - Breast and Hereditary Cancer Support, with the financial support of the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation and Astra Zeneca. Led by health professionals, the webinars explore the following topics (French only):

  • Session 1: Understanding breast cancer and how to support your partner through her diagnosis and treatment 

  • Session 2: Understanding ovarian cancer: for the newly diagnosed

  • Session 3: Practical resources: what to expect and how can you help?

  • Session 4: Caregiver Support: Where do I fit in? What about my needs?

  • Session 5: Life after treatment: Living a new normal life together as a couple

  • Session 6: Living with metastatic breast or ovarian cancer

  • Session 7: Living with a gene mutation: impact on the family

To view the free series of webinars, please visit thecaregivernetwork.ca

Education and Support in the Decision-Making Process About Breast Reconstruction

In 2015, the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM) realized that women diagnosed with breast cancer were not provided complete information with regards to options for breast reconstruction.

The project “Education and Support in the Decision-Making Process About Breast Reconstruction” aims to support the decision-making process based on available options, to promote acquiring and retaining necessary information, to standardize and improve the quality of available information and education, to promote prompt recovery and adaptation after surgery and, finally, to reduce anxiety and distress in order to enhance satisfaction with health care.

In addition to the learning sessions available to CHUM patients at the pre-admission clinic for women and their families since mid-October 2015, fact sheets are also available for everyone through the following link: cicc.chumontreal.qc.ca/en/i-have-cancerbreast-cics/reconstruction.