About Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia

BCANS seeks to address the obstacles faced by women/families/friends living with breast cancer -- things such as delayed diagnosis, not enough information, social /psychological issues, poor communication with the health care team, and lack of support.

Our members and volunteers are active throughout the Province raising awareness about breast cancer and addressing the unique needs of men and women affected by breast cancer. Members sit on various boards and commissions, and actively promote breast cancer related events, issues and activities.

BCANS maintains an interactive web site at www.bcans.ca. The site includes 24/7 online support, user profiles and biography pages, Breast Cancer Glossary, "Best of Tips & Hints" from the forum, searchable archives, online chat, community and much more.

BCANS is the founding member of "Breast Cancer Network Nova Scotia" - a province wide initiative that has 40 members representing breast cancer interest groups and individuals from all 9 health districts in Nova Scotia. more

BCANS has published two booklets. Originally published in 1999, Breast Cancer Online: In Our Own Words was developed by participants of the BCANS support forum. The group wanted to share special posts with others who might not be aware of BCANS. The book was such a hit that a reprint was ordered and a follow-up book, Breast Cancer Online: In Our Own Words - How We Told Our Children was produced. Both are available online.

BCANS maintains Atlantic Breast Cancer Net (ABCN) - an internet portal that provides networking, information and advocacy services to the Atlantic Region. Site highlights include a Buddy Connection (find a "buddy" with a similar diagnosis), a support group finder, articles, monthly and weekly newsletters and much, much more. Visit ABCN at: www.abcn.ca

BCANS is primarily an action group but women also provide support to each other through the process of getting together and discussing common issues.

BCANS has regular meetings at the Victoria General Hospital, Halifax and in Dartmouth at the St. James Community Hall. Meeting time is normally at 6:45. Everyone is welcome! Please call us at (902) 465-2685 for dates, locations and information, or view the BCANS News & Events listings for dates, special events, agendas or notices.

BCANS Web Site Project

In 1996 Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia produced a web site to promote the group's activities and objectives. The original site included local resources, a calendar and a discussion forum. As this was "early days" for the internet, there were not a lot of breast cancer web sites available and our discussion forum soon evolved into a very lively support forum for a world-wide community of men and women whose lives have been affected by a diagnosis of breast cancer.

  • So Softly Bind Up the Wound
  • The site received international accaim. Patricia Radin, a researcher from the University of Washington, visited BCANS in early 1998 and used the BCANS web site as the subject of several research papers demonstrating the powerful benefits of online support. Dr. Radin also worked with BCANS to develop a well-received workshop for the 1999 World Conference on Breast Cancer.

    In Our Own Words

    The 1999 World Conference on Breast Cancer saw over 20 members of the international, online community gather in person for the very first time. Earlier in the year the online community had taken on a huge project by creating a booklet of some of the most important and interesting posts from the discussion and support forums. The Breast Cancer Online: In Our Own Words booklet was created, printed and funded completely by forum participants for disseminiation at the Conference. In 2001, the booklet was re-printed by BCANS with a "companion" booklet - Breast Cancer Online: In Our Own Words - How We Told Our Children and was funded by the CBCF, Atlantic Chapter. The books are now available to every newly diagnosed woman in Nova Scotia through the Pink Rose Kit, and are available to all Atlantic Canadians in their local library.

    Community Funding

    The site was developed and maintained by volunteers. Server space was donated by one of our members until it became necessary to seek funding to continue to produce the site. BCANS approached the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Atlantic Chapter and received the necessary funding to keep the site up and running. Other organizations such as Health Canada, The Lawson Foundation, The CURE Foundation, The Breast Cancer Fund have also funded activities related to web site. CBCF, Atlantic Chapter continues to be our major funding partner and each year we apply to their Community Grants Fund for assistance.

    Atlantic Region Breast Cancer Clearinghouse

    After receiving numerous comments and feedback about a lack of information services in the Atlantic Region, BCANS approached the CBCF, Atlantic Chapter in 2000 with a proposal to develop a regional web site that would provide Atlantic Canadians with regional news, events and articles written by and for Atlantic Canadians. CBCF funded the project and in 2001, the Atlantic Breast Cancer Net was launched at www.abcn.ca. In addition to being a clearinghouse for regional breast cancer news, information and events the site also provides a "Buddy Connection" where someone can fill in a short profile and search for a "Buddy" with a similar diagnosis.

    Filling the Gaps

    Both web sites fill a niche that is not readily available elsewhere. The "Web Site Project", as it is known at BCANS, is constantly evolving to meet the unique needs of those affected by breast cancer.