Timmins – The name of the campaign has changed more than once over the years, but the goal remains the same. On Wednesday, May 3rd, 8 Ontario Breast Screening Program locations across the north will set aside a day to screen 350 women between the ages of 50 and 74 years of age who have never been screened for breast cancer in what is now known as Mammothon.
Breast cancer continues to be the most common cancer diagnosis in Canadian women and the second leading cause of cancer deaths, after lung cancer. However, fewer Canadian women are dying from breast cancer today than in the past. Breast cancer deaths have decreased by more than 40 percent due to earlier detection through breast screening and improved treatments.
“The mammogram is the best screening test for early detection of breast cancer. Mammograms can be used to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease, that’s why it’s important eligible women participate in regular screening” says Tina Bilodeau, Coordinator of Breast Imaging Services. “Cancer that’s diagnosed at an early stage, before it’s had the chance to spread is more likely to be treated successfully. Most women know having a mammogram is important, they just haven’t made the time.”
Women put off having a mammogram for all kinds of reasons; fear of the test and time constraints among them, but the Mammothon has proved to be a powerful motivator. The campaign aims to address common barriers to breast screening through information, education and convenient screening hours. Mammothon attendance figures over the past decade have clearly demonstrated that women respond to the challenge to screen as many women ages 50-74 that have never been screened in a single day.
To learn how you can reduce your risk of breast cancer, use the My Cancer IQ tool at www.mycanceriq.ca