Breast cancer petition calls for province to pay up

A Red Deer woman with breast cancer is circulating a petition calling on the provincial government to pay for a new treatment.

A Red Deer woman with breast cancer is circulating a petition calling on the provincial government to pay for a new treatment.

Brenda Odovichuc will be collecting signatures until later next week.

“I have started a petition to create some awareness to what is happening with new breast cancer treatments,” Odovichuc said.

Odovichuc said money being donated during Breast Cancer Awareness Month will make a difference in the fight for a cure. New treatments are being discovered with donations.

“But new treatments are not necessarily very accessible to those who desperately seek it,” said Odovichuc said.

She is on her fourth round of chemotherapy called Xeloda, plus a new kind of treatment in tablet form called Tykerb.

Health Canada approved the drug in May 2009 after seeing positive results in testing, which showed the drug in combination with Xeloda had slowed cancer growth.

Odovichuc was shocked to learn that Tykerb was not covered in Alberta. It is fully funded in Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.

A 30-day supply of Tykerb costs nearly $3,500.

She has some coverage through private insurance and the drug company has a financial assistance program.

People can sign a petition by going to Odovichuc’s home at 12 McCune Ave. It is attached to a clipboard inside a Rubbermaid container.

Odovichuc can also be emailed at odoson@shaw.ca