Breast cancer is still the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women.
MONTREAL, QC -
The Canadian Cancer Society's (CCS) Memo-mamo campaign is back for its 13th edition during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. With Because we take your health to heart as its theme, this campaign focuses on the prevention and early detection of breast cancer.
Unfortunately, breast cancer is to date the most frequently diagnosed cancer among Canadian women. So, Memo-mamo and CCS are calling on all women aged between 50 and 69 to act now by participating in the Quebec Breast Cancer Screening Program (PQDCS) and getting a mammogram done every two years.
“Because we take their health to heart, remind women you know who are 50 and above that screening mammography is essential and can make a huge difference.” – Marie-Claude Barrette, spokesperson.
Screening mammography is essential
While an estimated 1 in 8 women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, it’s worrying to note that women aged between 50 and 54 are the least likely to take a mammogram in Quebec despite the existence of a program that facilitates early breast cancer screening. This hesitation is also seen in women from ethnocultural communities and households with an annual income of less than $50,000, according to a survey done by Mire Marketing in May.
The most commonly mentioned reasons are the fear of pain and the perception of not being at risk because they have no family history of breast cancer. Actually, the experience of getting a mammogram isn’t pleasant and can be painful, but it remains crucial. A mammogram can detect a tumour when it’s as small as a pea (4 mm) while a visual exam can only spot it when it reaches the size of a cherry tomato (2.5 cm). The earlier breast cancer is detected, the greater the chances of survival. Today, thanks to early detection, research as well as more advanced and better treatments, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 89%. Mammography is performed by medical technologists; it takes about two minutes and gives you peace of mind for the next two years. Remember that screening mammography is free, and follow-up is provided for all women, even those who don’t have a family doctor.
Finally, regardless of whether someone has a family history of breast cancer or not, it is essential to get a mammogram from the age of 50.
“I didn’t have a family history of cancer, I didn't have any visible signs on my breasts and I have a healthy lifestyle. I was far from suspecting that I had breast cancer. It’s only after getting a mammogram as part of the screening program that it was detected.” – Marie Desroches, 68-year-old breast cancer survivor.
Uniting against breast cancer
For the second consecutive year, ambassadors from different ethnocultural communities have joined the Memo-mamo campaign team: Marie‑Hélène Luly, Alix Ortega and Kaimei Zhang. They’re helping us provide the right tools to suit the needs, cultural backgrounds and values of women from different ethnic groups to increase their participation in the PQDCS.
“The Canadian Cancer Society is fulfilling its mission of inclusion and prevention by reaching out to all women regardless of their origins. We are proud to count on spokesperson Marie-Claude Barrette to help us raise public awareness.” – Isabelle Girard, Communications director for Quebec
About the Canadian Cancer Society
The Canadian Cancer Society works tirelessly to save and improve lives. We fund the brightest minds in cancer research. We provide a compassionate support system for all those affected by cancer, across Canada and for all types of cancer. As the voice for people who care about cancer, we work with governments to shape a healthier society. No other organization does all that we do to make lives better today and transform the future of cancer forever.
Help us make a difference. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit cancer.ca today.