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PYNK : Breast Cancer Program for Young Women

Division of Medical Oncology, King Fahad Medical City, Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Division of Medical Oncology, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Odette Cancer Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Curr. Oncol. 2013, 20(1), 34-39;
Submission received: 2 November 2012 / Revised: 4 December 2012 / Accepted: 6 January 2013 / Published: 1 February 2013


Consider this scenario: A 35-year-old recently married woman is referred to a surgeon because of a growing breast lump. After a core biopsy shows cancer, she undergoes mastectomy for a 6-cm invasive lobular cancer that has spread to 8 axillary nodes. By the time she sees the medical oncologist, she is told that it is too late for a fertility consultation, and she receives a course of chemotherapy. At clinic appointments, she seems depressed and admits that her husband has been less supportive than she had hoped. After tamoxifen is started, treatment-related sexuality problems and the probability of infertility contribute to increasing strain on the couple’s relationship. Their marriage ends two years after the woman’s diagnosis. Six years after her diagnosis, this woman has completed all treatment, is disease-free, and is feeling extremely well physically. However, she is upset about being postmenopausal, and she is having difficulty adopting a child as a single woman with a history of breast cancer. Could this woman and her husband have been offered additional personalized interventions that might have helped them better cope with the breast cancer diagnosis and the effects of treatment? Compared with their older counterparts, young women with breast cancer often have greater and more complex supportive care needs. The present article describes the goals, achievements, and future plans of a specialized interdisciplinary program—the first of its kind in Canada—for women 40 years of age and younger newly diagnosed with breast cancer. The program was created to optimize the complex clinical care and support needs of this population, to promote research specifically targeting issues unique to young women, and to educate the public and health care professionals about early detection of breast cancer in young women and about the special needs of those women after their diagnosis.
Keywords: breast cancer; young women; program; survivorship; oncofertility; psychosocial breast cancer; young women; program; survivorship; oncofertility; psychosocial

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ali, A.; Warner, E. PYNK : Breast Cancer Program for Young Women. Curr. Oncol. 2013, 20, 34-39.

AMA Style

Ali A, Warner E. PYNK : Breast Cancer Program for Young Women. Current Oncology. 2013; 20(1):34-39.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ali, A., and E. Warner. 2013. "PYNK : Breast Cancer Program for Young Women" Current Oncology 20, no. 1: 34-39.

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