What to Read Next

Why you should still care about breast cancer

Caitlin McCormack
Shine from Yahoo! Canada
September 28, 2011

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and while some people might complain of “pink fatigue” as charities try to raise awareness of the disease with girly-coloured fundraising items, it’s important to remember that breast cancer is a serious illness that affects thousands of women every year and that these women could be our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends. In many countries, the number of cases is on the rise, including Canada.

In 2011, approximately 23,000 women in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 5,300 will die from the disease, according to the Canadian Cancer Society’s website. And it’s not just older women who get the disease - women in their 20s and 30s can also be afflicted. In fact, more than 2,700 Canadian women under 45 will be diagnosed with some form of breast cancer this year.

A particularly aggressive form of breast cancer called Her 2+ will affect nearly 500 Canadian women this year. A new documentary, “About Her” follows the stories of nine Canadian women who have been diagnosed with the strain. The story flows around the blog entries of Chatelaine blogger Leanne Coppen as narrated by Kim Cattrall, giving viewers a candid look inside the struggle for life after Her 2+ diagnosis.

[See also: Walnuts found to reduce breast cancer risk]

The women are brave, humourous and inspiring while they share their heartbreaking experiences with the disease. Some are mothers and some are married, yet all of them share the hope that they will beat their illness. While Coppen and Lisa Rendall, whose story was also featured, both lost their battles with the disease, they never lost hope.
“Spending time with these courageous women and documenting their stories was a deeply moving and unforgettable experience. To be able to witness their incredible strength, spirit and determination was a real privilege,” director Phyllis Ellis said at an advance screening of the film in Toronto.

“You expect things to be sad when people have cancer,” Ellis said. “What you don’t expect is the love, and the love in your life. In a moment, it could be gone.”

Four of the documentary’s subjects were also at the screening, including Hayley Mezei, who was 38 and pregnant when she received her diagnosis. Given that most of the women in the film were originally misdiagnosed as simply suffering from breast cysts, Mezei’s advice is particularly poignant:

“If you see a professional and you get an answer that doesn’t seem right to you, question it.”

“About Her” airs Saturday, October 1 at 1 p.m. ET/PT and Wednesday, October 5 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on W Network. The documentary will also be broadcast on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada) on Saturday, October 15 at 7 p.m. ET. It has also been chosen as the closing film of this year's Breast Fest Film Festival.

(Photo by Leonard Adam/WireImage for Rethink Breast Cancer)

More from Shine on Yahoo! Canada

All your breast cancer questions, answered

20 ways to prevent cancer

Taller women at increased cancer risk

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

Is your insurance comp Laughing Behind Your Back?

New Studies Show that if you drive less than 55 miles a day you can save a ton on auto insurance.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Reconnect With Your High School Friends

Classmates® has the largest directory of high school class lists. Remember the good times and reconnect to create new memories.

Find Out How SoFi Can Help Refinance Your Loans

SoFi is refinancing student loans with fixed rates as low as 3.5% APR...

Bad News For Insurance, Great News For Virginia

Virginia drivers, with cars and good driving records are learning that they may qualify for lower car insurance rates. Do you qualify?

Find Out Why You May Need a Reverse Mortgage

Reverse mortgage loans allow seniors to access a portion of the home s equity to obtain tax free funds without monthly mortgage payments. Learn more.

This Site is Changing the Way Women Buy Online!

Discover the site millions of women visit everyday!

What Are The Pros & Cons Of A Reverse Mortgage?

More Americans are accessing their home equity to support their retirement years. Speak with a professional and see what you may qualify for today.

Success is in Your Hands

A great career as a motorcycle technician is within reach. Click here to learn more.

Free Workshop in Washington DC Area, Feb. 27!

Discover the power of stocks and options trading at this FREE Stock Success Workshop! Save your spot now and receive a free silver bar for attending!

Stop Paying Too Much For Your Prescriptions.

Drug prices vary wildly between pharmacies. GoodRx finds the lowest prices and discounts. Compare prices, print free coupons & save up to 80%.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Attn Home Owners Who Never Miss a Payment.

Home Owners who have not missed a payment in 3 years or more need to read this. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home there is a solution.