The Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation asks: "How well do you know your breasts?"

MONTREAL, Feb. 13, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Quebec Breast Foundation, with support from a number of high-profile players in the healthcare network, is launching a vast campaign to make women aware of the importance knowing their breasts and recognizing the signs associated with breast cancer. Breast observation is of particular importance considering that 20% of cancers occur before age 50, and there is no systematic screening program in Quebec for women under this age. Moreover, an Adhoc study conducted in last July showed that 80% of women mistakenly believe breast observation involves a special technique, and more than 30% have an erroneous perception of the first signs of breast cancer.

Early diagnosis can mean a better survival rate and less difficult treatment. Although pain is very rarely a symptom of breast cancer, any recent, persistent change to the skin (thickening, redness, sores), the breast (inflammation, change in size or shape) or the nipple (discharge, inversion, retraction) must be brought to your doctor's attention as soon as possible.

"The confusion over the breast cancer signs is a real issue, because some women might not notice them or might even dismiss crucial changes in their body," explains Nathalie Le Prohon, chair of the Foundation's board, who discovered her own breast cancer when she was 42. "With this campaign, we want all women in Quebec to pass Breast Observation 101 with flying colours!"

A vast campaign across Quebec
It should be borne in mind that one in nine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and that 5,500 new cases will be diagnosed in Quebec this year alone. To fully inform women about the signs so they can recognize them more easily, the Foundation is launching a province-wide educational campaign.  Thanks to the generosity of many media partners, it will be widely broadcast on radio, television and on the Web.

To complement this campaign, the Foundation has launched www.observationdesseins.org, a microsite that demystifies the signs and provides more information on how to observe the breasts effectively. On this microsite, women can also sign up for an automatic monthly reminder to encourage them to observe their breasts regularly. Copies of the Foundation's Breast Observation Guide will be available at all La Vie en Rose stores in March and April 2013.

"Since I first became involved with the Foundation, many women with breast cancer have told me that observing an unusual change in their breasts prompted them to see a specialist and receive a speedy diagnosis. I hope this campaign will encourage women to get informed, and above all, make a habit of breast observation," remarked Mitsou Gélinas, the Foundation's spokesperson.

The Foundation would like to add that breast observation complements a clinical examination and mammogram. It's the first step in taking charge of your health.

Healthcare players rally behind the cause
Beyond the signs, there are still many myths associated with this disease, and for this reason, the Foundation has enlisted several important players from the healthcare network to set the facts straight and inform women about breast cancer. The Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec, Ordre des technologues en imagerie médicale et en radio-oncologie and the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec have made a formal commitment to distribute the information to their members so they can in turn relay it to women.

"The members of these professional associations are in close daily contact with women who have questions about the health of their breasts. We therefore decided to contribute to equipping them effectively so they can continue to play an influential role in promoting breast health," concluded Ms. Le Prohon.

About the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation

The Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation is a non-profit organization with a mission to fund breast cancer research, promote breast health through education and awareness activities, and provide support for those affected by the disease. For additional information, please visit.www.rubanrose.org or observationdesseins.org.

SOURCE: Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation

For further information:

Jade St-Jean
Morin Relations Publiques
514-289-8688, ext. 235
Cell: 514-716-7530
jade@morinrp.com