3 women out on a run

Studies have shown that women who carry extra weight may be at an increased risk for recurrence of breast cancer after initial treatment.

In 2018, Lisa was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer, undergoing a double mastectomy as well as chemotherapy and radiation. For Lisa, life after her treatment meant making healthier choices and being more conscious of her everyday routine.

Studies show that women who carry more weight may be at an increased risk for cancer recurrence after initial treatment. Located at Mount Sinai’s Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre, which cares for over 34,000 women annually, the Taking Charge program educates and encourages breast cancer patients to make healthier diet and physical activity choices. Taking Charge offers participants a chance to connect with each other and learn from a dietitian, personal exercise trainer and a wellness chef to help lower the chances of cancer remission in the future.

Lisa says she enjoyed every session and still uses what she learned in her day to day life. “I now walk almost every day and use many of the recipes covered in class.”

Linda Muraca, Nurse Clinician at Sinai Health and coordinator of Taking Charge says that the COVID-19 pandemic required changes to the program, which began its new virtual format this fall.

“Maintaining the connections that patients were making with each other, and with the program material, was really important to all of us,” says Linda. “The new format also offers an opportunity to extend the program’s services and expert advice to patients all over Ontario.”

Lisa says she’s relieved that participants like herself will be able to access the program virtually, “I think breast cancer patients need that support more than ever.”

The Taking Charge program is a partnership with ELLICSR: Health, Wellness, and Cancer Survivorship Centre at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. To learn more about healthy habits for women post-breast cancer surgery and treatment, visit our web page.