Science in the Cinema presents The Cut of It

Hosted by the University of Calgary's Cumming School of Medicine (CSM), Science in the Cinema brings together science and popular culture in a fun and engaging way.

The screening is presented in partnership with: Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute, Faculty of Nursing, Faculty of Social Work and Multisensory Studio.

Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Location: Calgary Central Library, 800 3 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2E7
Doors Open: 5:30 p.m.
Program Starts: 6:00 p.m.
Discussion: Immediately following the screening

Free admission and popcorn!

About the film
Loosely adapted from an original stage play by Meghan Greeley, The Cut of It is based on the research of Dr. Kathleen Sitter and uses the power of digital stories to amplify the voices of breast cancer patients. Inspired by true stories, the film follows a group of women navigating their own individual journeys with breast cancer: the confusion, the loss, the triumph, the pain. As each maneuvers the complexities of the health care system and the difficult choices that accompany a diagnosis (Surgery? Chemo? Radiation? Freezing one’s eggs?), they are forced to re-examine their relationships with not just with their own bodies, but also with their partners and friends, their livelihoods, and their identities. From the discovery of a lump to the ringing of the obligatory chemo ward bell, from surgery and remission to relapse, different stages of the cancer journey are interwoven throughout the film, each shedding new light on what it means to live in an assigned female body when that body begins to fail.

After the film, hear from University of Calgary experts and researchers including Dr. Kathleen Sitter, PhD, whose scientific work was the basis for the film, and Amy Kavanagh-Penney, whose breast cancer journey is featured.


Dr. Colleen Cuthbert, RN, NP, PhD is a clinician scientist with experience as a nurse practitioner in oncology. Her clinical work largely focused on follow-up care and symptom management with a keen interest in survivorship issues. Dr. Cuthbert is an assistant professor at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Nursing and an adjunct assistant professor in the Cumming School of Medicine, Department of Oncology. She holds a Tier II Canada Research Chair in patient and family centered cancer survivorship. Dr. Cuthbert is a member of Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute and the O'Brien Institute for Public Health.


Amy Kavanagh-Penney is a proud mother of four who lives with her husband and their 15-year-old twin boys in Newfoundland and Labrador. She enjoys entertaining their large family of adult children, stepchildren and grandchildren. Amy is an active member of the Avalon Dragons, a breast cancer survivor dragon boat team and she enjoys spending time outdoors and on the water. In 2016, Amy participated in a digital storytelling study that provided breast cancer patients the opportunity to share their perspective on the breast cancer experience with medical professionals and medical students. The Cut of It was Amy’s first time performing on stage and she was pleased to bring this adaptation of several women’s stories to a wider audience. As a two-time cancer survivor, Amy continues to defy cancer and thrive.

Dr. May Lynn Quan, MD is a general surgeon at the Foothills Medical Centre, specializing in breast surgery. She completed her MD at McMaster University, undertook her general surgery residency at the University of Calgary followed by a Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York. After five years as a surgeon investigator at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, Dr. Quan returned to Calgary as a general surgeon in 2009. She is also active in research, having undertaken an MSc in epidemiology at the University of Calgary in 2005 and she is now a professor in the departments of Surgery, Oncology and Community Health Sciences at the Cumming School of Medicine. Dr. Quan is a member of Arnie Charbonneau Cancer Institute and the O'Brien Institute for Public Health.

Dr. Kathleen C. Sitter, PhD is the Canada Research Chair in Multisensory Storytelling in Research and Knowledge Translation, and an associate professor in the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary. Dr. Sitter’s work focuses on creating accessible research using multisensory and arts-based methods. Her research in the areas of arts and health includes over 200 arts-based works such as documentary films, photography, acoustic storytelling, smellscapes, and +100 invited and juried screenings/referred exhibitions.
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