Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia

The ABCN website (Atlantic Breast Cancer Net) is owned and operated by Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia, an organization of survivors and supporters that focuses on the concerns and needs of those affected by breast cancer through support, education, networking and advocacy. Visit

ABCN is Getting a Facelift

We are excited to currently be working on the ABCN to give it a much-needed facelift. We want this website to be easily accessible to its viewers. We are looking at ways that we can make it accessible, interesting, and resourceful. Please stay tuned for updates regarding the new website!

Please be advised that we are now using a new provider for our Hot Flash eNewsletter and the sign up form on the side is no longer working. If you would like to receive our newsletter, please email!

We appreciate your patient and understanding.

Evening Talk | October 29 | 6:30pm-8:30pm | Erin from Bridgeview Physiotherapy, Michele from Mastectomy Boutique, and Francine Wright

Do you have breast cancer or are post-treatment?  Would you like to have more information on what you can do to address physical limitations?  Perhaps you would like to see some of the latest post-mastectomy products available?  Or perhaps you are experiencing lymphedema and would like to know the best way to live with it?  Join Erin Clements, physiotherapist and breast cancer survivor, Michele McQuaid, Certified Fitter and provider of mastectomy products, and Francine Wright, massage therapist and Dr. Vodder certified therapist for manual lymphatic drainage, for information on what services are available to you in your community.  We will have an interactive session to address any questions you may have about your pre- and post-treatment care.


Location: BCANS Resource Centre, Mill Cove Plaza, 967 Bedford Highway, Suite 205, Bedford, NS. We’re above the Lawtons (use the medical clinic entrance and come upstairs).

Fun Friday Oct 17, 2014 | 1:30pm-3:00pm | Melissa Church, Certified Exercise Physiologist

Melissa Church will present material on the role of exercise in breast cancer prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation. She will discuss how much exercise is enough (the exercise prescription). A sample of exercises from the Canadian Cancer Society will be presented that can be used at various stages of rehabilitation after breast cancer surgery. A 30 minute exercise class will be provided which will be based on body weight and will include cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility components. Attendees are asked to bring yoga mats if possible as there will be some floor based exercises. Read the rest of this entry »

Fun Friday | Beat the Sugar Blues with Michelle MacLean | Sept 12, 2014 1:30pm-3:00pm

  • Are you struggling with sugar cravings?
  • Has your doctor suggested you work on getting your blood glucose levels down?
  • Do you need sugary sweet foods to get you through the day?

Whether you are struggling with fatigue, digestive issues, weight loss, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome, one of your first steps to improved health is to remove processed and artificial sugars from your life.

Join certified Wellness Coach and Nutrition Consultant Michelle MacLean as she explains the impacts of sugar on your body and your brain, how to balance insulin levels and make manageable shifts in your diet and behaviour to improve your overall health. Read the rest of this entry »

Fun Friday | Kundalini Yoga Therapy with Sandra Briand | Sept 5, 2014 1:30pm-3:00pm

Come and learn what Kundalini Yoga is, how it’s different from other types of yoga, and how it can transform your life through increased energy, clearer brain functioning, stronger intuition, and better overall health. This yoga is about becoming a radiant and self-empowered woman. Learn about the relationship of our breath to health and energy. Also learn about Healthy Breast Strategies that promote breast health and recovery. Come and experience how to generate a healing response using the breath, and sound meditation. Read the rest of this entry »

Genetic Biomarkers: Breast Cancer Treatment Refined

Though genetic biomarker tests are not new, investment into these biological signals has grown with the rise of genetic technologies and personalized medicine. Even though they currently can be expensive and inconsistent in value1, biomarker tests have the potential to streamline personalized breast cancer treatments.

Read the rest of this entry »

How Antioxidants Can Play a Role in Cancer

Antioxidants have been gaining popularity in the media and in products throughout grocery stores. So what are antioxidants? The term antioxidant represents a broad class of molecules that are naturally produced in the body and are ingested through our diets.



Read the rest of this entry »

Bike, Walk or Run for Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia!

For All Ages!

Date: Sunday, September 21, 2014

Time: 9am to Noon

Location: First Lake Glen Slauenwhite Trail, Lower Sackville (starting behind the Kinsmen Club)

A fun and empowering experience, complete with inspiration and community power! There will be prizes for the person who raises the most funds, the person who is most festively dressed, and the first person to cross the finish line. We’ll wrap everything up with a healthy BBQ put on by Sobeys First Lake.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sweet Potatoes

Did you know….that Sweet Potatoes  are rich in many nutrients that have antioxidant activity. They are an excellent source of vitamin A (through their concentration of beta-carotene) and very good source of vitamin C.  Recent research has found that Sweet Potatoes have unique root storage proteins that may offer protection against oxidative damage.  In one study, these proteins had about one-third the antioxidant activity of glutathione – one of the body’s most impressive internally produced antioxidants.

Book Source: “The World’s Healthiest Foods”.

The Alleged ‘Link’ Between Antiperspirants and Breast Cancer


By Matthew Wallace

In 1999, an email was circulating through online inboxes regarding breast cancer prevention. The letter warned its readers, in a conversational and urgent tone similar to early advertising, of breast cancer’s newest “leading cause”: antiperspirants.

Read the rest of this entry »

Creamy & Sweet Almond Milk (no sugar added)

1 cup/250 ml coconut water (if you have access to a fresh coconut, use the water from that, but if not, try to find organic)
1 tbsp. raw almonds
1 tsp. coconut oil
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
dash of Himalayan salt, to taste
dash of cinnamon (optional — they don’t use cinnamon but to me everything is better with a touch of this spice, but it’s up to you)
1 handful of ice cubes

Place all ingredients into a high powered blender and blend on high for 45 – 60 seconds, until smooth. Enjoy! Note: The sugar comes naturally from the fresh coconut water.


Source:  Reboot

Drinks – healthy replacements

Favorite replacements for soda, sugary pasteurized juices, coffee, and other drinks are purified water with lemon, herbal teas, green tea, white tea, yerba maté, kukicha, chai, kombucha, and coconut water.  Fruit water is also delicious. Toss purified water and one piece of fruit with a dash of stevia or agave in your blender. Blend and strain. Add ice. Yum.  A favorite is strawberry with a mint sprig.

Book source:  “Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet”.

Breast Cancer – Nutrition & Lifestyle Considerations

by Michelle MacLean, Wellness Coach and Nutrition Consultant

Whether you’ve survived breast cancer, undergone surgery, or are in recovery, diet and lifestyle habits can help to boost overall health and reduce the risk of recurrence.

Here are 9 nutrition and lifestyle tips: Read the rest of this entry »


Did you know….that Turmeric is one of the main ingredients used to make curry powder.  Turmeric is a concentrated source of the unique phytonutrient Curcumin.  In numerous studies, the anti-inflammatory effects of curcumin have been shown to be comparable to potent prescription and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines and is a potential cancer fighter.  It can suppress the transformation, proliferation and invasion of cancerous cells for a wide array of cancers.

Book Source:  “The World’s Healthiest Foods”.

Mean Chard Juice


If you love Joe’s Mean Green, then you’ll love this juice too! This Mean Chard Juice is just as easy.

4 chard leaves & stems (silverbeet)
1 cucumber
1 lemon
1 apple
1 in/2.5 cm piece of ginger

1. Peel the lemon (optional or scrub and leave peel on for a more sour taste)

2. Wash and chop produce to fit through juicer.

3. Juice and enjoy!

Source: Reboot

Book Review: The Silver Lining

The Silver Lining

This book touches on every aspect of the breast cancer experience.  Other writers speak of the gifts breast cancer has given them. Jacobs abhors the idea of cancer being a gift, but admits there are definite silver linings that come as a consequence of the journey, and looking for and acknowledging them can create a positive attitude. The book has everything; clinical descriptions for kinds and treatments of breast cancer and reconstruction; the author’s journey with side effects of treatment and what to do about them; her relationship with her husband and young daughter: and her reaction to friends and family questions and concerns.  The chapters are well defined and can be read alone, making it easy to go to areas that interest you most.  The book is beautiful thanks to the insightful photographs, I should say art, of Elizabeth  Messina.

I would recommend this book because:

I have read many breast cancer related books/stories over the past 22 years as a breast cancer survivor, this is one of my favorites. The book is a good balance of medical information and personal stories, and beautiful reflective art. It describes the full range of procedures and emotions a breast cancer patient may experience.  Her reactions to various situations were very relatable to me. For example her feelings of desolation when her medical appointments and treatments were complete and she was “cut loose and flying on her own”. I experienced that but seldom read about others experiencing it. The most wonderful and unusual aspect of the book is its beauty. The cover is visually welcoming and all the photographs give pause to reflection and contemplation.  If you only looked at the pictures you would be moved.  I heartily recommend this book.

Author(s): Hollye Jacobs, RN, MS, MSW: Photographs by Elizabeth Messina

Publisher and year: Simon and Schuster Canada, 2014

Pages: 273

Reviewed by: Peggy MacLean

A worldwide effort to eliminate cancer

Inflammation and cancer: Why your diet is important

18th Annual Breast Cancer Retreat, Tatamagouche NS

Date: September 12-14 2014

Location: Tim Horton’s Camp, Tatamagouch, NS 

Theme: “A Night at the Oscars” 

Price: For two nights is $60.00; for Saturday is $30.00

Registration: To register by September 5, 2014 call 902-752-7600 ext. 4922. Registration at the event takes place on Friday, September 12, 2014 at 3:00pm.

Bring towels, comfortable clothes, bedding, “Oscar” outfit (Frenchy’s!), and mitten donation for winter campers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Curried French Lentils

FrenchLentil 570x299 Curried French Lentils

Serves 4 (makes about 8 cups or 4 bowls)

Read the rest of this entry »

Black-Eyed Peas

Almond Butter Chocolate Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats FG blur

Yield:  1 serving

Read the rest of this entry »

Disco Ball Juice

Enjoy this juice –it’s VERY high in antioxidants and minerals. You know it’s healthy by all of its’ colours — purple, red, orange and green — so this is an intense nutrient cocktail.

Yield: 1 serving (16-18 oz., 500 ml.)

Read the rest of this entry »


Did you know….that Buckwheat is a unique grain in that it is a concentrated source of phytonutrients called flavonoids.  These flavonoids are strong antioxidants, protecting cells from the harmful effects of free radicals.  Buckwheat can be eaten by people who are sensitive to grains or other foods that contain the protein gluten.  Buckwheat can be substituted for gluten-containing grains, such as wheat or rye.  Buckwheat also contains sleep-promoting tryptophan.

Book Source:  “The World’s Healthiest Foods”

Coconut Oil – The Good Fat

by Michelle MacLean, Wellness Coach and Nutrition Consultant

Coconut oil has been getting a lot of press lately. In researching the subject, I found lots of opinions on both sides of the coconut oil debate and some science-based research.

What I found most, were many practical accounts from various health care practitioners who have seen the benefits in their own practices and lives. To me this is the best evidence and proof I need to incorporate coconut oil into my life and recommend it to my clients.

Let’s take a quick look at a few facts:

Read the rest of this entry »

Brussel Sprout Chips


 bigstock-Relaxed-Eldery-Woman-Breathing-14883779-300x200Did you know….that Breathing incorrectly, especially during times of stress, is not only a problem for your athletic activity, it can also lead to health problems, aches and pains, and fatigue.  Believe it or not, six breaths per minute is considered optimal.  Try closing your eyes and breathing more slowly and deeply with your belly for a few minutes.  You will likely notice that you are in a more relaxed state.  Slowing down your breathing not only reduces your heart rate but it also improves your heart rate variability. For better health and relaxation, take a deep breath!

Source:  “The Back in the Swing” cookbook.

Exercise After Breast Reconstruction

After you have been through all your treatment for breast cancer, you may be considering reconstruction.  These days, the most common types of reconstruction are using implants or using a piece of tissue from your own body, whether it is tissue from your lower abdominal area, or using the latissimus dorsi muscle in your mid-back.

What you may not know is that all of these surgeries have consequences for your body.  Not only does your upper quadrant area (chest, upper back, shoulder, and arm) have to recover, but the area they take tissue from also needs to recover.  Surgery can cause a loss of range of motion, a loss of strength, and a loss of stability in the area they take the tissue from.  However, all of these losses can be helped or completely corrected by doing exercises that specifically target those areas.  I would like to go through each type of reconstruction and discuss the limitations you may have, and give you some ideas on how to get those areas back to full function.  Please check with your doctor or physiotherapist to see if you’re ready for strengthening.

Read the rest of this entry »

No Bake Energy Bites

dae2a412d1374855626863ac36bd5b5cPrep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes
Yield: About 20

Read the rest of this entry »

Walnut Goji Berry Chocolate Truffles

GojiTruffles3You can make these amazing truffles two different ways: by making your own raw chocolate, or by melting store-bought chocolate. Both recipes are below.

1 cup raw walnuts
½ cup dates (Medjool dates work best, but any will work as long as they’re sticky)
¼ cup goji berries
2 tbsp raw cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
a tiny pinch of sea salt
1 tsp minced ginger (updated Feb 20, 2014)

Read the rest of this entry »

Signup For Our Newsletter

« October 2015 »
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31