Annual Event Supporting Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Funds Valuable Research in Okanagan

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The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – BC/Yukon Region (CBCF) is pleased to announce a new Studentship granted to University of British Columbia Okanagan student, Stephen Smithbower, under the supervision of Dr. Rasika Rajapakshe, a past CBCF grantee.

Stephen Smithbower, CBCF Studentship recipient

Stephen Smithbower, CBCF Studentship recipient

We are excited about the possibilities this research can provide, not only in breast cancer, but also for its future applications in many related aspects of cancer care.

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation – BC/Yukon Region (CBCF) is pleased to announce a new Studentship granted to University of British Columbia Okanagan student, Stephen Smithbower, under the supervision of Dr. Rasika Rajapakshe, a past CBCF grantee.

The $25,000 grant was funded by Vernon’s annual Wine, Women and Woods event, a golf tournament that since 2003 has raised a cumulative total of $597,100 to benefit CBCF and the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation. This year, the organizing committee directed fundraising efforts from the event to support digital mammography equipment at Vernon Jubilee Hospital and local research initiatives in the Okanagan region.

Vernon resident and UBC Okanagan student Stephen Smithbower was selected as the recipient of the $25,000 Wine, Women and Woods Studentship over two years in the lab of Dr. Rasika Rajapakshe. The research will focus on developing a faster breast cancer care model utilizing Graphics Processing units used in video game systems.

“Modeling is quickly becoming a very important tool for the Canadian healthcare system by improving efficiencies to provide a high level of care to cancer patients,” comments Dr. Rajapakshe. “These models are very complex, so research such as Stephen's provides a crucial layer of groundwork that can be further expanded upon. We are excited about the possibilities this research can provide, not only in breast cancer, but also for its future applications in many related aspects of cancer care. “

Studentship recipient Stephen Smithbower comments, “Without a doubt, this studentship will allow me to make a contribution to the field of breast cancer research, and I’m excited to focus my future career in this area.”

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in Canadian women, representing 26 per cent of all newly diagnosed cases. In 2012, an estimated 22,700 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and about 5,100 will die from it. Since 1986 however, death rates among women have fallen by almost 40 per cent. Today in BC, 91.8% of women diagnosed with breast cancer survive the disease for five years or longer- the highest survival rate in Canada.

This year’s Wine, Women and Woods tournament will take place at Predator Ridge Golf Course in Vernon, BC on September 28th and 29th 2013. Please visit http://www.winewomenandwoods.com for more information.

About the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is the leading community-driven organization in Canada dedicated to creating a future without breast cancer. Our investments in innovative and relevant research and education have led to progress in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. Since 1986, we have been at the forefront of a nationwide movement supporting and advocating for the breast cancer community. Join us at http://www.cbcf.org.

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Media contact:
Sydney Nusbaum - Specialist, Marketing & Communication
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - BC/Yukon Region
T: (604) 683-2873 ext. 237, E: snusbaum(at)cbcf(dot)org

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