“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

Clearwater Famers Market looking for help

“The Farmers Market and the North Thompson (Valley) need more local food.”

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Rainer Meat Cutting continues family tradition

Finding a new role in the days of COVID-19

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read