“I was coughing for two weeks and it was not a usual cold – as a doctor, I knew something might be wrong.”
Dr. Cynthia Chan is a family physician in Vancouver who was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in 2014 without ever smoking a single cigarette in her life.
“When I first learned about my diagnosis, I couldn’t believe it. As a non-smoker I was shocked.”
In British Columbia, more than 3,700 people are newly diagnosed with lung cancer each year. It remains among the deadliest and most prevalent cancers in B.C., Canada and beyond. The five-year survival rate for Stage IV lung cancer is less than 20 per cent.
“If I were to be sick 10 to 15 years ago, without the development of targeted treatments, I would have been dead,” she says.
Dr. Chan is alive today because of cutting-edge, life-saving treatment innovations at BC Cancer. World-leading lung cancer research is underway, where BC Cancer’s Personalized Onco-Genomics (POG) Program is uncovering new treatment options for lung cancer patients, tailored to their genomic fingerprint.
Early-detection research under Dr. Stephen Lam, Leon Judah Blackmore Chair in Lung Cancer Research and Chair of the Provincial Lung Tumour Group, BC Cancer is improving outcomes for lung cancer patients in B.C. and beyond, primarily looking at non-smokers who have cancer. Recent research has shown Asians are more susceptible to lung cancer, with Asian women at more risk than their male counterparts.
Reflecting on this year’s Lunar New Year season, Dr. Cynthia Chan, a generous donor, and the BC Cancer Foundation are encouraging British Columbians to support the health and prosperity of BC Cancer patients with a gift to the Foundation.
“In addition to thanking the excellent doctors, nurses, technicians and support staff at BC Cancer, I would like to inspire the community to support research into new treatments with a donation to the BC Cancer Foundation,” says Dr. Chan.
“I’m still here more than five years after being diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. I want people to know there is hope,” says Dr. Chan.
You can help change outcomes for patients like Dr. Chan. Please visit www.bccancerfoundation.com to learn more.