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Patient Representative: Lynne Bezanson

Supporting the CCTG Gastrointestinal Committee

Resides in Ottawa, ON | CCTG Patient Representative since 2016

"My hope is to give back to the teams of researchers and medical experts in some way and ease the decision making process for patients and their loved ones, I will continue to contribute where I can make a difference. I believe the personal experience of having lived through the diagnosis and treatment of cancer provides a unique and valuable perspective that in itself is an important contribution."

Lynne Bezanson is a colorectal cancer survivor and was part of a clinical trial from 2008 to 2018. As a cancer patient, she underwent six months of preliminary chemotherapy and radiation, surgery resulting in an ileostomy, post-surgery chemotherapy, ileostomy reversal and ongoing follow-up through the clinical trial. Being part of a clinical trial was a positive experience and Lynne found the ongoing contact with researchers and oncologists very helpful in her recovery. She thankfully had a strong support system to rely on and considers the clinical trial team to also have been part of her support system.

Lynne is interested in helping patients access information to help them make informed decisions about participating in a clinical trial. She believes that plain language is critical in helping patients understand what they are agreeing to. As a patient representative, she looks forward to supporting better patient outcomes including the after effects of treatment - believing that this area does not get enough attention and ex-patient support. She is very encouraged by the growing clinical trial emphasis on treatments to avoid unnecessary chemotherapy and surgical interventions.

"On both the practical and emotional levels, the clinical trial experience was very positive for me. My hope is that this could also be so for all patients in trials, whatever the outcome. Additionally, I believe that my involvement is making a small contribution to the body of research moving slowly toward a cure."