As patient advocates, we are providing this message to not only provide support during what we know to be a difficult time, but also to give some information that we believe is helpful to you. The TBCRC advocates are women who have survived breast cancer and now want to help other breast cancer patients by assuring the patient voice is heard and valued by researchers.
Unfortunately, you will soon find that there is no “answer book” on what to do with a breast cancer diagnosis. As you begin to explore your options, keep in mind that many people are living long lives with breast cancer. Some of the newest approaches to treatment are offered as “clinical trials”. Clinical trials are developed to conduct research in a way that will provide you with comprehensive and caring treatment, while developing information about new treatments that could help patients like you in the future.
You are likely reading this message because your physician has suggested a clinical trial conducted by the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC). The TBCRC is a group of 19 cancer hospitals/research centers that conduct innovative breast cancer clinical trials. The TBCRC consists of oncologists, surgeons, scientists, statisticians, study coordinators, and patient advocates. All of these individuals- the advocates included- provide input into the development of each trial.
Please ask your doctor all your questions- as we want you to make the best decision for your particular situation. Although you may feel overwhelmed, please remember- you are not alone. There is support for you and your family. It can be helpful to know that others understand what you are going through. We’ve listed some online patient resources that might be of interest to you.
With best wishes,
The TBCRC Patient Advocates