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PYNK program for young women facing breast cancer expands to two new locations

November 2, 2022

Sunnybrook is pleased that the PYNK: Young Women with Breast Cancer program is expanding to two additional sites in Ontario.

Sinai Health in Toronto and Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre in Hamilton recently celebrated the launch of their PYNK programs, thanks to support of the Jesin-Neuberger Charitable Foundation.

When established in 2004, PYNK, which is supported entirely by donations, was the first of its kind in Canada. It is a comprehensive program designed for women aged 40 and younger newly diagnosed with breast cancer who receive their medical oncology care at the Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre in Toronto.

Although women aged 40 and younger make up less than 10 per cent of all breast cancer patients, they have unique needs.

“A breast cancer diagnosis can affect every part of a young woman’s life: her body, her energy, her mental health, her emotions, her relationships, her fertility and more,” said Dr. Ellen Warner, medical oncologist and founder of PYNK at Sunnybrook. “The expansion and collaboration of PYNK at two more hospitals mean more young women will be able to access the tailored support they need.”

PYNK’s model of care and resources will be shared among the sites, and there is an opportunity for shared research opportunities, Dr. Warner says.

“We have seen patients travel all the way from Hamilton to Toronto for breast cancer care in order to access the specialized PYNK program,” said Dr. Bindi Dhesy, medical oncologist at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre. “We are so pleased that we can offer this care much closer to home.”

A PYNK hub for research will allow for collaborative projects that will aim to improve the care of young breast cancer patients, Dr. Dhesy said.

“At Sinai, we’ve been able to offer some aspects of tailored care to young women with breast cancer, and now we are so pleased to do that packaged up in a PYNK ribbon,” said Dr. Christine Brezden-Masley, Medical Director of the Cancer Program and Director of the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre at Sinai Health.

“Our hope at PYNK has always been that every woman under age 40 diagnosed with breast cancer will have the benefit of a program like PYNK,” said Dr. Warner. “Today we have made a step in this right direction.”

Thank you to all PYNK donors for their ongoing support.

Learn more about PYNK