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From the start of the PYNK program in February 2008 to the launch of RUBY, a pan-Canadian program that models after PYNK, in November 2015, close to 300 consenting PYNK patients have been enrolled into a database with questionnaires, blood and tumour tissues collected and stored. The database has been used and will be used for research studies that focus on young women with breast cancer.

Completed projects

1) PYNK program evaluation

  • Cohen L et al. Formal evaluation of PYNK: Breast Cancer Program for Young Women – the patient perspective. Current Oncology, 23(22):102-108, 2016.

2) Fertility and pregnancy

  • Srikanthan A et al. Does a dedicated program for young breast cancer patients affect the likelihood of fertility preservation discussion and referral? The Breast, 27:22-26, 2016.
  • Hill K et al. The Experience of Young Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer Who Undergo Fertility Preservation (FP) Consultation Clin breast Cancer 12(2):127-32, 2012.
  • Collins LC et al. Molecular Phenotype of Breast Cancer According to Time since Last Pregnancy in a Large Cohort of Young Women. The Oncologist 20(7):713-8, 2015.
  • Pagani O et al. Pregnancy after breast cancer: are young patients willing to participate in clinical studies? Breast 24(3):201-7, 2015.

3) Psychosocial

  • Ali A et al. The Impact of a Breast Cancer Diagnosis in Young Women on their Relationship with their Mothers. The Breast 23(1):50-5, 2014.
  • Cohen L et al. An analysis of Nanny Angel Network (NAN) and the benefits of free childcare for mothers diagnosed with cancer. Current Oncology, in Press.
  • Boquiren VM et al. Sexual functioning in breast cancer survivors experiencing body image disturbance. Psychooncology 25(1):66-76, 2016.
  • Fergus K et al. Couplelinks - an online intervention for young women with breast cancer and their male partners: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 16(1):33, 2015.
  • Fergus K et al. Development and pilot testing of an online intervention to support young couples' coping and adjustment to breast cancer. Eur J Cancer Care (Engl). 23(4):481-92, 2014.

Ongoing projects

1) Reducing the burden of breast cancer in young women (RUBY):

2) Evaluation of clinical outcomes in women with pregnancy-associated breast cancer (PABC)

3) Pregnancy outcome and safety of interrupting therapy for women with endocrine responsive breast cancer (POSITIVE)

4) Healthy Lifestyle Modification after Breast Cancer – study of an online intervention

5) Helping Ourselves Helping Others in collaboration with Harvard’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute

6) Long-term neurodevelopment of children exposed to maternal chemotherapy and/or surgery for breast cancer during pregnancy in collaboration with SickKids Hospital