CanCan is all about putting people into action about their health, giving them tools for early detection, prevention and self-advocacy. We give healthy women (and some men!), from all walks of life, a fun way to learn what they can do to feel more in control and less in fear about cancer. We also give cancer survivors a place to share the stories that can save lives.
CanCan was started by Heike Malakoff, a woman who found her cancer in her early 30s when she was breastfeeding her twins. Today cancer-free, Heike is a walking testimonial for the power of early detection and self-advocacy. Early detection can save lives, reduce treatment times and severity and improve outcomes. Breast cancer survivors know this, and want healthy women to have the benefit of their experience. And people learn best through stories, told by those who have walked the journey. That’s why a survivor, in conjunction with a breast health instructor, always tells their story at a CanCan party. We give breast cancer survivors a great way to transform the fact of their disease into positive outcomes for other women. Survivors tell the stories that save lives.
CanCan puts on free breast education parties, filled with socializing, laughter, camaraderie and just plain fun. Wherever women gather, on campuses, houses of worship, workplaces and mothers’ groups, CanCan will bring breast educators and survivors to spread the word about early detection. A non-medical, fear-free, fun environment is the best environment for learning, even about serious topics. The parties are safe spaces created to encourage questions and sharing about breast health. CanCan follows up the parties with monthly breast self-check reminders, educational resources on the website, and an engaging and informative blog.
One in eight women will get breast cancer in their lives. This means all women need to be equipped with the information and knowledge necessary to protect their health. CanCan is all about giving healthy woman the education and tools for early detection of breast cancer for the best outcomes. Who cares about your health more than you do? No one. This means we must all be self-advocates, making sure we take control over our health. Doctors can downplay risk, miss symptoms or under-order tests; when a woman takes charge of her health, she can get the care she needs. Self-advocacy around breast health can take several forms: through knowing your breasts and genetics, doing breast self-exams, getting recommended mammograms and knowing what to ask your doctor. And getting into action about your health reduces fear!
Self-advocacy is useful for all kinds of cancer; CanCan is creating programs to address more kinds of cancer, in more locations, to empower more people in their well-being.