“Without the treatment and care I’ve received at BC Cancer, which donors make possible, I would not be standing here before you,” says Carmen Hou, who is undergoing innovative treatment for breast cancer. The BC Cancer Foundation is committed to changing the outcome for British Columbians like Carmen who are facing a women’s cancer.

BC Woman Facing Advanced Breast Cancer Defying the Odds

You can help BC can stay one step ahead of women’s cancers

Vancouver’s Carmen Hou is facing what any young mother may call her worst nightmare.

In January 2016, six months after Carmen gave birth to her daughter Evelyn, she noticed two tiny lumps on her left breast. At first she and her husband, a radiologist, thought the lumps may be related to breastfeeding.

An ultrasound suggested it was nothing but by the following winter, the lumps had grown larger and Carmen was feeling tiny shocks in her chest. She returned to the doctor and this time tests confirmed she was facing Stage III breast cancer.

“I’ll never forget that day,” says Carmen.

Further tests revealed that her tumour had grown to five centimetres and there was also a blemish on her spine. The cancer had spread, which escalated her diagnosis to Stage IV. “I called my husband right away and we both started crying. We were at a loss for words.”

Roughly a month after her diagnosis, Carmen began chemotherapy treatment. She went on to have a mastectomy of her left breast and surgeons removed 20 lymph nodes, 10 of which were cancerous. The cancer remained and was active in three out of the four quadrants of her breast, which unfortunately meant that the chemotherapy may not have been effective.

Her treatment plan was then followed by surgery, two types of precision radiation and a drug trial, called Ribociclib. She also had been consented to BC Cancer’s Personalized Onco-genomics Program (POG) where scientists sequenced her DNA to match her to the best treatment possible for her cancer.

Today, Carmen has passed the two-year mark of being on the trial medication. Her cancer has been stable, but she has been told by her doctors that many patients on the trial quickly decline around this time in their treatment plan.

“Because of my late stage diagnosis, I don’t know what the future really holds for us or how much time I have on this earth,” she says. “It’s really changed my perspective on life and I want to spend my days choosing love over fear and focusing on what’s most important, including precious moments with my daughter, husband and our loved ones.”

Changing outcomes for British Columbians

This year, 5,545 British Columbians will be diagnosed with a women’s cancer.

BC Cancer has led the world in breaking down breast and gynecological cancers, bringing innovative therapies to cure more women through precision medicine.

Carmen has been gifted more time with her family because of the life-saving treatments she’s received at BC Cancer.

“Without the treatment and care I’ve received at BC Cancer, which donors make possible, I would not be standing here before you,” says Carmen.

It’s World Cancer Day and the BC Cancer Foundation is committed to changing the outcome for British Columbians like Carmen who are facing a women’s cancer.

“Carmen’s strength as a young mother is immeasurable,” says Sarah Roth, President & CEO, BC Cancer Foundation. “It’s people like her who are motivating our generous donors across the province to make a difference in the lives of women facing cancer in B.C.”

In 2020, the BC Cancer Foundation announces its commitment to change the outcome for the 5,545 British Columbians that will be diagnosed with a women’s cancer this year.

Learn how you can help B.C. can stay one step ahead of women’s cancers for every patient, with every test and every personalized therapy – visit www.bccancerfoundation.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Community of Vavenby weekly news update

Vavenby fire chief asks Doris Scarff to paint two murals on the inside walls of fire hall

Blue River Powder Packers blocked from accessing popular riding areas

Snowmobile tourism group loses revenue over lack of notice from logging activity

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

Tourism Wells Gray to benefit from new provincial funding

Funds provided to help further develop tourism opportunities and bring new visitors to the area

First presumptive case of coronavirus identified in the Interior Health region

The woman, in her 30s, travelled from Shanghai and lives in the interior

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Most Read