Early detection is your breast defence

    CALGARY, Oct. 1 /CNW/ - When it comes to breast cancer, screening and
early detection can make all the difference. Bonny Boychuk and her daughter
are living proof of that. Mother and daughter were both diagnosed with breast
cancer within months of one another last year.
    "I tell everyone my story," says Bonny Boychuk, who after discovering she
had breast cancer encouraged her 30-year-old daughter to talk to her doctor
about it. "I tell them my story not to get their sympathy, but to get their
attention." Boychuk, who has no family history of the disease, discovered she
had breast cancer through a routine mammogram, something which is recommended
for all women between the ages of 50 and 69.
    Breast cancer death rates have declined 25 per cent in the last twenty
years - in large part to better screening and improved treatments. Current
evidence shows that organized screening with mammography and clinical breast
examination - the most reliable methods of finding breast cancer - have
contributed to the declining death rates. However, breast cancer continues to
take its toll; this year, approximately 2,000 women in Alberta and the
Northwest Territories will be diagnosed with the disease and 440 will die.
    October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Canadian Cancer Society
recommends that women:

    -  Have a mammogram every two years between the ages of 50 and 69. If you
       are between the ages of 40 and 49, discuss your risk of breast cancer
       and the benefits and risks of mammography with your doctor. If you are
       over 70, talk to your doctor about a screening program for you;

    -  Have a clinical breast examination by a trained health professional at
       least every two years if you are over the age of 40;

    -  Get to know your breasts and report any changes to your doctor.

    About the Canadian Cancer Society

    The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of
volunteers and staff whose mission is to eradicate cancer and to enhance the
quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about
cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual
Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Deanna Kraus at (403) 541-5375, Media Relations Specialist, Canadian Cancer
Society, Alberta/N.W.T. Division, deannak@cancer.ab.ca

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Canadian Cancer Society (Alberta/NWT Division)

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