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Thriving with breast cancer


In June 2013, Jennifer was told she had stage 3 breast cancer. She was only 27 years old.

It all began a month before when Jennifer discovered a lump in her breast during a regular self-examination. After an initial consultation and ultrasound with her doctor, Jennifer came to Mount Sinai Hospital’s Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre for a second ultrasound, expecting a routine procedure.

Instead, the technician discovered three lumps: two in her breast and a swollen lymph node. A surgeon consulted on the ultrasound and ordered a mammogram, MRI, and biopsy right away. Amid the flurry of activity and concern, Jennifer realized something was wrong. She was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.

“I was in disbelief,” Jennifer says. “It came out of nowhere. I’d had my physical a few months before and everything was fine.”

Dr. Pamela Goodwin, Jennifer’s physician and Director of the Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre, Canada’s first dedicated multidisciplinary breast centre, which sees 33,000 patients annually, quickly implemented a treatment plan to stop Jennifer’s cancer from spreading. Within days of her diagnosis, Jennifer began her first round of chemotherapy. Her treatment continued for the next year and half involving a number of surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy. But she persevered and in late 2015, Jennifer was given the all clear by her doctors. Today, Jennifer is proud to be cancer-free.

“My experience at Mount Sinai has been amazing,” she says. “Everyone I’ve met has been so friendly and approachable. I didn’t have to think about what appointment to book next, they just organized everything. You walk in and everyone knows you by first name. The fact that they take the time to know you, when they see so many patients, is really comforting. I know I'm in good hands.”

“It was great to meet other people going through the same experience and participate in something that puts a positive light on an experience that is otherwise associated with negativity,” she says.

“People tell me all the time, ‘You’re so positive,’ and that’s because I’ve had such amazing people around me, being strong for me.”

Jennifer is a part of The Estée Lauder Companies' Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA) Campaign. As part of The BCA Campaign's global call-to-action, "Hear our stories. Share yours." Jennifer and a friend joined other cancer patients and survivors and their supporters from the Greater Toronto Area to get expert makeovers, meet Elizabeth Hurley, Global Ambassador for The BCA Campaign and, most importantly, share their stories. Jennifer also spoke about her experience in a news segment on Cityline.

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