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World Cancer Day is held every February 4.
It is a global initiative raising awareness and improving education around cancer to evoke personal action.

Sara's Story

Thanks to donor generosity, education has helped many Manitobans become aware of the importance of self-screening for cancer. Sara is one of those Manitobans. 

A routine self-examination gave Sara cause for concern.

It was March of 2022 when Sara found a lump in her breast during a regular self-check. Having found lumps before that were found to be benign, she wasn’t overly concerned. Fortunately, though, she was concerned enough to visit her doctor – again. Just to be sure everything was okay.

Thinking the lump was suspicious, Sara’s doctor recommended an urgent mammogram.

That’s the day Sara’s life changed.

It was after the mammogram that I really started to become worried,” said Sara, “I was sent directly for an ultrasound and then told that I would need a biopsy. I was in shock and very upset.”

Only a few minutes later, while still reeling from the news of her impending biopsy, Sara received a phone call from her family doctor. She told Sara that she should prepare herself to hear the word ‘cancer.’ Not long after, the biopsy confirmed Sara’s worse fears: triple-negative invasive ductal carcinoma, an aggressive form of breast cancer.

By making a gift today, you will be supporting programs at CancerCare Manitoba that are critical to the early detection and successful treatment of many cancers.

Sara began treatment soon after her diagnosis. Over the next several months she would endure 16 rounds of chemotherapy. Sara experienced many negative side effects from the chemotherapy treatments including severe allergic reactions. Her dedicated care team regularly adjusted her treatment to ease her side effects while ensuring the cancer was still being successfully targeted.

Sara struggled with her mental health as she continued with the grueling treatments. Fortunately, she was able to access donor-funded emotional support services at CancerCare Manitoba.

“One of the most important things with cancer is your mental health,” said Sara. “Out of all of my amazing health-care providers, my therapist has been one of the most important people who have provided me with life-saving support.”

At the end of December, Sara completed chemotherapy. But her journey wasn’t over. She would still require surgery to fully remove the cancer and reduce her risk of its recurrence. Sara mentally prepared herself for surgery by exploring Manitoba for a month and spending time with the people she loves.

Sara’s journey is not over.

Sara’s surgery was successful and today she is cancer free. But her journey through recovery – both physically and mentally – is ongoing.

She continues with regular appointments at CancerCare Manitoba and is grateful for the donor-funded after-care programs that are helping her, including physical rehabilitation and mental health support.

For Sara, the fear of her cancer returning is very real, but she tries to focus on moving forward and is hopeful for what her future holds.

Sara’s story demonstrates how screening initiatives, including self-screening, are vital when it comes to early-detection and ultimately saving the lives of Manitobans.

If you are able to, we hope you will choose to support cancer screening and risk reduction initiatives this World Cancer Day, knowing your generosity will help others potentially detect their cancers early, giving them the best chance at successful treatment.