Would save lives says Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2011 /CNW/ - Canadian women overwhelmingly believe
that the benefits of earlier breast cancer screening programs are far
more important to them than the limited risks of false positive
results, a new national public opinion survey shows.
The survey, conducted by Strategic Communications Inc. on behalf of the
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, sought views about breast cancer
screening from 1,670 Canadian women. Breast cancer continues to be the
most frequently diagnosed cancer among Canadian women. Today, 1 in 6
women who die from breast cancer are diagnosed in their 40s.
When women were provided information about the potential for "false
positives" during screening and what the outcomes of those results
could be, 87.5 per cent of respondents still felt the benefits of
organized screening for women 40-49 were more important.
In fact, Canadian women appear to be more concerned about being
thoroughly-tested than the possibility of a false alarm. The survey
found that if offered the choice between two theoretical screening
A majority (63 per cent) of Canadian women would choose a screening test
that "never misses cancer but 1-in-10 tests are false alarms"
Only 20 per cent would choose a test that "misses 1-in-3 cancers but gives no false alarms."
The public opinion findings support scientific findings that emerged
from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation's It's About Time! Scientific Consensus report, based on a conference which involved more
than 70 leading researchers, clinicians and decision makers from
Canada, the United States and Europe. The conference reviewed the most
relevant and current screening research and concluded that women 40-49
benefit from access to organized breast cancer screening programs.
In addition, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation National Grant Competition on the
Earlier Detection of Breast Cancer, a $5 million initiative, will be launched this month, underscoring the
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation's commitment to earlier detection as
a nation-wide priority to reduce the impact of breast cancer.
The new survey research released today reveals that more than 85 per
cent of Canadian women feel organized screening for women ages 40 to 49
is effective, while 88 per cent believe it is "very important" that
women across the country have equal access to organized breast
"While recognizing current economic challenges and the need to ensure
that women over age 50 continue to have full access to organized
screening, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) believes that
we need to work towards all Canadian women aged 40-49 being able to
participate in provincial and territorial organized breast screening
programs," said Sandra Palmaro, CEO of the Canadian Breast Cancer
Foundation - Ontario Region.
"Breast cancer screening technology is evolving. Treatments are
improving. But one fact remains - we know from scientific evidence that
earlier detection and diagnosis through an organized breast cancer
screening program can save lives and reduce mortality among women 40-49
at average risk of diagnosis by an estimated 25 per cent."
The survey also showed that about half of Canadian women are confused
about when they become eligible for organized breast cancer screening,
which is a barrier to participation. In six provinces or territories -
British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Northwest
Territories and Yukon - women 40-49 are eligible for organized
programs. However, in six others - Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba,
Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland - they are not eligible until
Dr. Martin Yaffe, a breast cancer researcher at Sunnybrook Health
Science Centre, said one in six women who die from breast cancer are
diagnosed in their 40s.
"Many women who die from the disease in their 50s might have been
diagnosed with earlier stage breast cancer and treated more effectively
had they been screened in their 40s," he said.
"Over 10 years, an estimated 1800 lives might potentially be saved if
these women were screened in their 40's. "
In Canada, federally-issued recommendations on breast cancer early
detection and diagnosis have not been updated since 2001. Since that
time, new evidence and technologies have emerged on a range of relevant
screening issues. The Canadian Task Force on Preventative Health is
expected to release new clinical practice guidelines and
recommendations on breast cancer screening this fall.
"CBCF is encouraging those provinces and territories where organized
screening does not start until age 50 to take a first step and allow
women 40 to 49 to join organized screening programs when recommended by
their health care providers," said Palmaro.
*The survey by Strategic Communications Inc. of 1,671 Canadian women was
conducted July 22-25, 2011. It was statistically weighted to ensure the
sample's regional age composition reflects the actual Canadian
population according to the 2006 Census. The results are considered
accurate +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times in 20.
About the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
For the last 25 years, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation has been at
the forefront of a nation-wide movement to raise awareness and mobilize
action on breast cancer. Today, the Foundation is the leading
organization in Canada dedicated to creating a future without breast
cancer. Since 1986, from coast to coast, we have invested over $230
million to fund vital research, education and health promotion programs
that have led progress in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis,
treatment and care. Visit www.cbcf.org and join the movement.
SOURCE Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (Ontario Chapter)
For further information:
or to arrange interviews contact:
Rob McCartney, Office 416- 645-3652, Mobile 416-419-6544