Get Onboard for Breast Health

VANCOUVER, May 4 /CNW/ - The province's first breast health education centre on wheels starts a cross-BC tour today at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The Pink Tour, Power in Knowledge, an early detection and prevention initiative of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, BC/Yukon Region (CBCF), launches today on the Georgia Street side of the Vancouver Art Gallery. The Pink Tour is a 45 foot pink bus, retrofitted with information about breast health, the importance of getting a mammogram and lifestyle choices that can decrease a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. For the next four months The Pink Tour will travel through BC communities stopping at local fairs and events, shopping malls, and aboriginal friendship centres.  Its objective is to encourage the 49% of eligible BC women who do not get their free mammogram to do so by registering for an appointment while they are touring the bus.

"Research from the World Health Organization tells us that if all eligible women went for their mammograms we could reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer by up to one third," says CBCF's CEO Linda Morris. "To encourage women to book their free mammogram, visitors to the bus will be able to register online and within a few days receive a call back to set up an appointment at a local screening clinic or with a mobile unit when it is in their area."

The Pink Tour, Power in Knowledge will bring information about the importance of breast health right into BC communities.  Through interactive displays, a video and a very informed tour team, visitors to the bus will learn the basic facts about mammograms and the ways to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. "I encourage all British Columbians to check out The Pink Tour bus when it arrives in their community to learn more about this disease that affects so many women in our lives," said Vancouver-Langara MLA Moira Stilwell on behalf of Health Minister Michael de Jong.

As part of The Pink Tour, Knowledge Sessions will be held in Vancouver, Victoria, Richmond, Surrey, Prince George and Kelowna. Oncologists and experts in the field of mammography will share the latest findings and information about breast health and the importance of regular mammograms.  Throughout the tour, speakers and volunteers will include breast cancer survivors who will share their stories.

Susan Short, a cancer survivor, now a Breast Cancer Care Coordinator in Abbotsford, went out for lunch and a mammogram with friends on her 40th birthday. "I know my breast cancer was found as a result of a mammogram," she says. "The tumour was in a spot where it would never have been felt on a breast exam. I'm now cancer free and helping others with my nursing expertise and my experience as a survivor."

The Pink Tour would not be possible without the generous support of the Province of British Columbia, CIBC and Canada Safeway Limited. The health partners onboard The Pink Tour are the Canadian Cancer Society BC & Yukon Division, the BC Cancer Agency's Screening Mammography Program of BC, the Health Sciences Association of British Columbia and Ovarian Cancer Canada.

Tour details and dates are available at http://www.thepinktour.com

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation BC/Yukon

The BC/Yukon Region of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation was established in 1992 to make a difference in breast cancer and breast health for BC women. Every year, the Foundation, along with its donors, sponsors and partners, raises funds to support unique and innovative initiatives across the areas of prevention, early detection, treatment, research and emerging issues in the health care workforce. The BC/Yukon Region is committed to seeing a future without the fear of breast cancer by the year 2020.

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, BC/Yukon Region (CBCF) Fact Sheet

What is CBCF, BC/Yukon Region?

The BC/Yukon Region of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation was established in 1992 to raise funds which would make a difference for the lives of women living with breast cancer in BC women.

VISION: A future without breast cancer

MISSION: As the leading national volunteer-based organization dedicated to a future without breast cancer, CBCF works collaboratively to fund, support and advocate for:

  • Relevant and innovative breast cancer research
  • Meaningful education and awareness programs
  • Early diagnosis and effective treatment
  • A positive quality of life for those living with breast cancer

What are the major activities of CBCF?

CBCF works independently and with donors, sponsors and partners, raising funds to support unique and innovative programs and initiatives in breast cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, research and emerging health care workforce issues.

Examples of key activities include:

  • Granting programs that support the advancement of breast cancer research, education, diagnosis and treatment
  • Offers seed money to sustainable and accountable community initiatives in the areas of prevention and early detection for breast cancer
  • Since 1997 has supported breast cancer survivor dragon boat teams
  • The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run For The Cure
  • The 2011 Pink Tour, Power in Knowledge, a province-wide education and information campaign with the goal of encouraging women over 40 and over to have regular mammograms. The main campaign element will be a branded bus which will travel through more than 50 BC communities and Aboriginal Friendship Centres from May to September.

Breast Cancer Facts

  • 1 in 9 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime
  • Approximately 5,400 Canadian women died of breast cancer last year
  • 91.8% is the five-year survival rate for women in BC, the highest in Canada
  • About 1% of people diagnosed with breast cancer are men
  • Since peaking in 1986, the breast cancer death rate has fallen by more than 30% and is currently the lowest it has been since 1950
  • 90-95% of breast cancers are diagnosed in women who do not have a family history for the disease

What is the Screening Mammography Program?

The Screening Mammography Program (SMP) was established in 1988 through the BC Cancer Agency to reduce breast cancer mortality through early detection. SMP offers free screening mammography to all BC women ages 40 to 79.

Medical experts recommend that women aged 40 to 79 with no signs of a breast problem (such as lumps, nipple discharge, etc.) have a screening mammogram every two years - because once is not enough. Your new mammogram needs to be compared with your previous exams to detect changes - early detection can save your life. Early detection of breast cancer means more treatment options and a better chance for recovery.

Women can book directly by phone by calling 1.888.GOHAVE1 or 1.888.464.2831. No referral is needed.

Screenings may miss some breast cancers, so if you notice a new change in your breast, see your doctor or health care provider immediately.


The Pink Tour Fact Sheet

What is The Pink Tour, Power in Knowledge?

The Pink Tour is a province-wide education initiative to encourage women 40 - 79 years of age to take advantage of BC's free screening mammography program.

Currently only 51% of women in BC who should go for a regular mammogram, actually do. According to World Health Organization investigations, if 70% of eligible women went for one, we could reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer by up to one third.

The Pink Tour's most identifiable element will be a 45 foot branded bus which will travel through more than 50 BC communities from May to September. The Pink Tour will also stop at a number of Aboriginal Friendship Centres.

What will people see on the bus?

Visitors will be able to walk through the bus and view displays and speak to the Tour staff about the importance of having a regular mammogram.  Displays will include messaging about overall breast health, facts about mammography, breast cancer risk factors and information on the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and its commitment to research and breast health education.  Visitors can also test their knowledge with an on-board quiz.

Attention to breast health is important for all women. The Pink Tour bus team is as ethnically diverse as the communities they will be visiting throughout British Columbia. All visitors are welcome to tour the bus and read more about breast health in English, Punjabi and Chinese.

The Tour team will also be able to use laptops on board the bus to provide a direct link to the mammography call-back program.  During the bus tour, a visitor can register their contact details and within several days they will receive a call back from the Screening Mammography Program about dates available for a mammogram.  Visitors are also encouraged to call 1.888.GOHAVE1 (1.888.464.2831) directly to book a mammogram themselves.

What are the Knowledge Sessions?

To support the outreach activities of The Pink Tour, regional Knowledge Sessions will be held in six communities - Vancouver, Victoria, Richmond, Surrey, Prince George and Kelowna.

The Pink Tour bus will be the center of each of these sessions, with support at the events coming from local health experts, and provincial and regional sponsors. Each Knowledge Session will include speaker presentations including an engaging testimonial from a community member who will share a story about their experience with breast cancer.

Why is The Pink Tour bus dedicated to Virginia Greene?

In addition to being one of Canada's most prominent and successful business women, Virginia Greene supported CBCF by serving as Vice Chair from 1998 - 2000, then Chair from 2000 - 2003 and remained as a Director until 2005.

Under Virginia's direction through the Gap Analysis project, CBCF confirmed that there were significant gaps in the depth of knowledge about breast cancer and in the health care delivery system as it related to breast cancer. CBCF then set out to address both issues.

Virginia chaired CBCF's 2007 Summit - 2020:  The Future Without Breast Cancer which brought together leading minds to best determine how to create that future.  The five working groups (Prevention, Early Detection, Treatment, Research and Health Care Workforce) that resulted from The Summit are working to ensure that breast cancer will be a manageable disease, easily treated and no longer feared.

While working to reduce the impact of breast cancer Virginia Greene herself was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and succumbed to the disease in December 2010.

Who are the sponsors of The Pink Tour?

The presenting sponsors for The Pink Tour are: the Government of British Columbia, Canada Safeway and CIBC.

Supporting sponsors include: Winners, Rogers, London Drugs, Running Room, Image Group Inc., Canadian Cancer Society, BC & Yukon Division, Health Sciences Association of BC, BC Cancer Agency (Screening Mammography Program) and Ovarian Cancer Canada.


SOURCE Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

For further information:

For media interviews, b-roll of the bus or further information please contact:

Gladys Johnsen
Media relations
On behalf of CBCF   
604 908 0876 (cell)
604 736 2844 (office)
Gladys_johnsen@telus.net  
          Trish Knight Chernecki
Media relations
On behalf of CBCF
604 728 4016 (cell)
604 926 0988 (office)
tkc@shaw.ca

 

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Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

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