As frightened cancer patient, Pancy Lau found Mount Saint Joseph Hospital (MSJ) staff to be a calming force.
One thing that stays in Pancy Fung Ping Lau’s mind when she considers her breast cancer experience is the giant hugs she received from one of the staff members at the Providence Breast Centre at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital.
She also mentions being warmly greeted by up to ten staff members during single visits to the centre. Receptionists, nurses, doctors, technicians. Of everyone who helped her, and continues to help her during her regular checkups, Pancy says she can “feel their compassion and love.”
Many grateful patients and their families support Mount Saint Joseph, making gifts to Scotiabank Feast of Fortune, which is MSJ’s annual fundraising gala, as well as giving throughout the year. To hear Pancy speak of her patient experience at MSJ, you can understand why patients maintain such strong ties with the hospital.
The importance of early detection
The staff member who gave those big hugs to Pancy is Imelda Villeneuve, a Nurse Navigator at the Providence Breast Centre whose job is to help women manage the often stressful logistics of dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis.
Pancy may well have felt something special in Imelda’s hugs. Imelda herself is a breast cancer survivor.
And as both Pancy and Imelda will tell you, early diagnosis is your best defence against breast cancer; and early diagnosis is the goal of this year’s Feast of Fortune, which hopes to raise enough funds to bring new breast cancer detection technology to MSJ.
This year, Feast of Fortune donations will go toward a state-of-the-art mammography machine that has a new technology called “tomosynthesis,” which creates a 3-D image. Tomosynthesis has been hailed as a breakthrough in breast cancer detection as it can see through denser breast tissue, which has long been a challenge for traditional mammography. This means better—and earlier—breast cancer detection.
This step forward in technology will help many women and their families. Many thousands of women, in fact. Last year alone, 15,000 breast imaging studies were conducted at MSJ’s Providence Breast Centre. Approximately 20 per cent of breast cancer patients in BC are treated here.
“Mammography is the cornerstone of breast cancer detection,” says Mount Saint Joseph radiologist Dr. Amie Padilla-Thornton. “Tomosynthesis represents an advance in breast imaging. It is an invaluable imaging tool for detecting breast cancers and other high risk lesions. It improves diagnostic accuracy, helps us further characterize findings and problem solve challenging cases”
Along with early detection, regular mammograms are also something Pancy and Imelda encourage women to do. Pancy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and it was detected during one of her routine mammograms. Thanks to her regular visits to MSJ, the tumor was only in its early stages and was successfully removed during a day surgery procedure just ten days after diagnosis.
Many in attendance at Feast of Fortune will be star struck when Pancy takes the stage to perform a set of her songs. While now semi-retired and living in Vancouver, Pancy maintains star status in Hong Kong, where she rocketed to fame in the 1970s with a string of chart topping hits and where she still occasionally performs today.
The daughter of a well-known Cantonese opera star, Pancy’s singing career took off when she won the Sing Tao Daily Singing Competition in Hong Kong, and she has never looked back. Later in her career, Pancy became just as well-known for being a mentor to many young up-and-coming singers.
The Scotiabank Feast of Fortune takes place Saturday, February 3, at the JW Marriot Parq in Vancouver.
Want to be a part of this fantastic night, and hear a true pop icon sing some of her best loved songs? There are still tickets available and you can buy them here.
Will you help bring this new breast cancer detection technology to MSJ? You can make your helping gift right now.