‘The Cut of It’, putting a human face to female breast cancer and surgical decisions

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Cancer, the dreaded ‘C word’ means different things to different people. To some, it is the most dreaded of words, because of the associated physical and emotional pains they and loved ones have suffered. For others, it is a largely looming fear, one they hope they never actually live through. In Canada, the chances of getting cancer is 1 in 3, with the odds depending on factors such as gender, age, family history, obesity amongst others.

Breast cancer is a cancer that begin in milk producing breasts, in either or both. Contrary to popular belief, breast cancer can affect both men and women, though <1% of all breast cancer arise in men. When breast cancer is diagnosed, the chances of survival depends on the type of breast cancer, which in turn affect the treatment options available. Treatment for breast cancer includes chemotherapy, radiotherapy and mastectomy (surgical removal of one or both breasts). These treatment options typically come with physical, emotional and psychological side effects. Some of these issues are covered extensively in White Rooster Theatre’s ‘The Cut of It”.

Written by Meghan Greeley based on original breast cancer survival studies as part of the research of Dr. Kathleen C. Sitter from the University of Calgary, “The Cut of It” features actors such as Ruth Lawrence, Allison Kelly, Laura Bradley, Alexis Koetting, Wendi Smallwood, along with Amy Kavanagh-Penney, Mary Costello, Yolanda Bliss and Lily Halley-Green and is directed by Lois Brown.

In over sixty minutes, ‘The Cut of It’ explored the lives of patients before diagnoses, at the moment of diagnosis and x-rayed the difficulty of making decisions on treatment plan. The play also exposed the challenges associated with the breast cancer treatment process, and the aftermath of patients’ decisions. This emotional piece is a story about women, told by women, for everyone.

The ‘Cut of It’ ran at the LSPU Hall on Victoria Street from November 7th-9th and ended with a standing ovation from the audience.

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