PYNK: Breast Cancer Program for Young Adults
Originally developed by Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, this program seeks to address the full range of specific needs of young adults with breast cancer. PYNK is also available at Mt. Sinai Hospital.
PYNK is funded entirely by the generosity of donors. Please consider donating to the program through the Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation. Designate your gift by selecting “other” and writing “PYNK.”
Thank you to our major donors:
Jesin-Neuberger Charitable Foundation
PYNK supports young adults with breast cancer
Coping with a breast cancer diagnosis is challenging at any age, and younger patients often have unique social, emotional and age-related concerns.
These may include:
- Risk of potential treatment-related infertility and early menopause
- Hereditary factors and risks
- Body image concerns
- Effects on personal relationships
- Explaining the diagnosis and treatment to children
- Managing work or school and treatment at the same time
- Accessing specialized clinical services (fertility counselling, genetic counselling)
- Accessing financial support
How the PYNK program works
Working together with your treating oncologist and nursing team, the PYNK nurse coordinator will assess your individual needs. The coordinator will connect you with the appropriate specialists and resources from the time of your diagnosis through treatment and recovery.
You will have access to specialized resources for younger patients. This could include advice regarding sexual health, help managing the side effects of treatment, and age-appropriate educational materials for your children.
To learn more about the program and available resources, please contact program coordinator and oncology nurse Sandra Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-387-9495.
Dr. Dhesy-Thind and Dr. Kumar Tyagi are the clinical leads for the Hamilton PYNK Program. A nurse coordinator guides and supports PYNK patients through their cancer journey, and connects patients to child-life specialists, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and dieticians as needed.
The PYNK coordinator provides access to fertility services and genetic counselling, and supports all medical, surgical and radiation oncologists at the Juravinski Cancer Centre in caring for their patients.
Dr. Kumar Tyagi is a medical oncologist who completed a breast cancer fellowship at McMaster University. She is an Assistant Professor at McMaster University. She treats breast cancer and gynecological malignancies. Her interests include improving patient care delivery.
Online Support and Education
There is a range of program and education materials available for PYNK patients.
Cancer Assistance Program – free supports, parking, driving, wigs, prosthesis, bras. Local on Concession Street in Hamilton
Wellwood – living WELL…with cancer – Local Hamilton-area supports. Programs for children, exercise, cooking, art therapy etc. All free. Parking available.
Pink pearl Canada – Support for young women with cancer. Local, Niagara-on-the-Lake. One-on-one supports offered. Retreats, education grants.
Canadian Breast Cancer Network – Educational resources. Excellent Canadian site.
YACC Young Adult Cancer Canada – Young Adult Cancer Canada support group
Rethink breast cancer – Excellent resources for young adults with breast cancer. Canadian organization.
The Breast Cancer Journey – RUBY STUDY – Canadian website for young adults with breast cancer. Great information pathways, resources and publications. Canadian, Women’s College Hospital and University of Calgary.
Stupid Cancer – Adolescent and young adult online cancer supports. Excellent video series. American organization.
Breastcancer.org – Reliable general breast cancer information – American
Young survival coalition – Support groups/mentorship connection – American
Young and Strong Program – A Program for Young Adults with Breast Cancer (dana-farber.org) – American website – Young adult breast cancer supports
Advancing knowledge through research
Learning more about the needs of young adults with breast cancer is an important part of the PYNK program. In addition to the opportunity to participate in clinical trials available to Juravinski Cancer Centre patients, PYNK program participants can join clinical research studies aimed at advancing our knowledge about how to best care for young adults with breast cancer.
At the Juravinski Cancer Centre clinical trials department, we provide leading edge care while advancing knowledge about cancer and its treatment.
Our highly trained research staff and oncologists give patients the option to participate in research studies, known as clinical trials, as an important part of their care. Our research program supports a large number of clinical trials covering all cancer types and stages. By conducting high quality research, we offer patients access to the latest treatments and give hope to future patients by generating new knowledge.
If you are interested in learning more about cancer clinical trials and what trials options we currently have available, please visit cancertrialshamilton.ca.