Ministry injects $2 million to fund genomic research

North Saanich's Susan Mcloughlin can say she beat breast cancer not once, but twice in her life.

North Saanich’s Susan Mcloughlin can say she beat breast cancer not once, but twice in her life.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s the first or second time. Your first initial reaction is you’re scared,” said Mcloughlin, after she was first diagnosed.

In 1989, she elected to have a mastectomy and follow-up treatment was not necessary because doctors caught the disease in the early stages.

But 14 years later, she found another lump in her other breast. It was not a relapse, but a different form of breast cancer, requiring more specialized treatment.

Mcloughlin had another mastectomy, followed by chemotherapy and radiation, and within half a year, she beat cancer for a second time.

She credits her survival to the work and ground-breaking research being done by the B.C. Cancer Agency to customize treatments.

“I truly believe in my heart that the answer lies with research and they’ll find an answer some day,” she said. “It’s not easy. Everyone needs to help. If you just look around, you have no idea how many families are struck (by breast cancer).”

Last Thursday, Health Minister Terry Lake announced a $2-million investment to support genomic research at the B.C. Cancer Agency.

The funding will support the five-year, $15-million breast cancer awareness initiative led by world-renowned scientist Dr. Samuel Aparicio, head of breast and molecular oncology at the agency.

As part of the program, scientists aim to genomically sequence every breast cancer patient’s tumour at the time of diagnosis, province-wide, and follow the evolution of the disease over time, which will allow them to come up with more personalized treatments.

“This is ground-breaking research that will help British Columbians but also people around the world,” said Lake.

Through Aparicio’s work over the last decade, the agency has already decoded 10 subtypes of breast cancer.

“In many ways, each breast cancer patient is unique. The genetic quote “fingerprint” is different than any other one,” said Malcolm Moore, president of the B.C. Cancer Agency, adding that a decade ago they would apply a similar treatment to all women with the disease.

“As we start to understand the biology and genetics of breast cancer, we can start to say, ‘based on what we understand about this particular tumour in this patient, this patient should be treatment A, while this person is better off with treatment B.We fit the profile of the patient to the drugs we have available.”

There are more than 3,000 British Columbia who will affected by the disease every year.

 

Just Posted

Saanich councillor slams McKenzie Interchange Project

Coun. Judy Brownoff said the project will only create more greenhouses gases and traffic

‘Listen to your body:’ Saanich woman fights to have breast implants removed

Woman struggles to find doctor to remove Allergan textured implants, recently linked to rare cancer

40 BC authors collaborate on new book celebrating the islands of the Salish Sea

Ivan Watson Special to the News Marion Cumming’s hilltop property near McNeil… Continue reading

Fairfield plan ‘counterintuitive’ to affordability aims, says working group member

Plan for Victoria neighbourhood heads to public hearing Sept. 12

VIDEO: Come along for the ride on Tour de Victoria

Reporter captures video footage of his Tour de Victoria ride

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Vancouver Island rainbow crosswalk covered in mysterious black substance

Black substance spilled intentionally near Qualicum Beach school and difficult to remove

RCMP originally planned to arrest Meng Wanzhou on plane, defence lawyers say

The allegations have not been proven in court. Meng was arrested Dec. 1 at Vancouver airport at the behest of the U.S.

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Ethics commissioner ready to testify on Trudeau, SNC-Lavalin: NDP critic

A new poll suggests the report hasn’t so far hurt the Liberals’ chances of re-election this fall

Inflation hits Bank of Canada 2% target for second straight month

Prices showed strength in other areas, including an 18.9 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

Vancouver Island RCMP hunt for man after pair of indecent exposure incidents

Elderly Qualicum Beach woman grabbed by man who had been masturbating in the woods

Most Read