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Patient Representative: Martina Wood

Supporting the CCTG Breast Committee

Resides in Mississauga, Ontario | CCTG Patient Representative since 2016

"When my husband was diagnosed, we were overwhelmed by a long complex document about a clinical trial to consider, but nobody took the time to explain anything – just take it home and read it. Thankfully, since that time CCTG has been improving patient information and consent communications. I hope clinicians are more involved today so that they understand and take the time to communicate the benefits and risks of the trial they are suggesting."

Martina Wood is a CPA, CMA, a breast cancer survivor and a member of the breast committee at CCTG. Martina’s personal experience with cancer began when her husband was diagnosed with an incorrectly classified cancer in 2011, his incorrect staging and treatments resulted in an untimely early death. When, two years later, Martina was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was determined to know exactly what she was dealing with and to get the most appropriate treatments.

Martina researched the all the latest journal papers, conferences, and newest treatment guidelines. She became very informed on the latest scientifically proven ways to treat breast cancer, as well as complementary strategies to deal with treatment, minimize late effects, and live well in the many years after treatment. She realized that women would be more appropriately treated if they could have informed discussions with their oncologists. In 2015, the College of American Pathologists made a short video of Martina’s experience and the value that her pathologist brought to her understanding of her case.

Aside from her family and friends who are all very dear to her, Martina has a variety of interests ranging from the arts (visual, performance, musical and quilting), nature activities, hiking, cycling, and swimming, business, natural and health sciences, including minerals, economics, data analytics, process design, health and health policy, and cancer research. Martina has a full life of social, physical, and volunteer activities and travel, and stops to smell the roses daily. Life is good.

"I have just learned that two friends are now metastatic (not breast cancer). I would like to see a cure for cancer so that we don't keep losing dear ones!"