Friday, August 22, 2014

Canadian Cancer Society: here to help

Michelle Sauvé
Michelle Sauvé, Canadian Cancer Society

It’s been said that “knowledge is power.” I am reminded of this each time I meet someone newly diagnosed with cancer and provide them with information about the Canadian Cancer Society’s programs, services and additional local resources. The most common thing I hear: “I wish I’d known more about this sooner.” Please help me spread the word to those newly diagnosed in our community and their caregivers, families, friends and co-workers that the Canadian Cancer Society is here to help!

Our Patient Care Kit is usually the first connection we have with newly diagnosed patients. These kits are provided to patients via various doctors’ offices and the hospital pre-admission clinic, surgical wards and the cancer centre. The kit contains practical items and information to help patients cope with their diagnosis.

For patients who have had a lumpectomy or mastectomy at Medicine Hat Regional Hospital, nursing staff work with patients to fill out a referral form that gets faxed to our office. I can then connect with the patient upon discharge and provide more information about local resources for women with breast cancer. I also encourage them to stop by our office to chat. We’re able to provide women with access to temporary breast prostheses free of charge, refer them to a local Women’s Cancer Support Group, share details about upcoming Look Good Feel Better workshops and how we can help them obtain a wig free of charge.

We also provide women who have had breast surgery with information about where they can purchase permanent prostheses and the financial supports available through the Alberta Aids to Daily Living Program. In Medicine Hat, there are three locations with certified prosthetic fitters who can help women looking to purchase prostheses: Crestwood Pharmacy, Shopper’s Home Health Care and Friday’s Image.

Some other programs for anyone newly diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers include our Financial Assistance Program (for those needing to travel for treatment) and Cancer Connection (a telephone peer support program). We also have an online support community at, where you can join discussions or start your own.

Our website ( is an excellent source of cancer information and includes a Canadian Cancer Encyclopedia and our Community Services locator. In our office, we have extensive print materials about all types of cancer and how to cope at any stage. Stop by our office at #102, 1865 Dunmore Road or order the materials online at

Knowledge can be powerful so please share this information!

For more about our programs and services, please call Michelle at 403-581-1039 or
email Visit or call the Canadian Cancer Society Information and Support line at 1-888-939-3333.

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