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Did you know?

Breast Cancer Facts:

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian women, with one in nine women expected to be diagnosed with it in their lifetime.
  • In 2014, it is estimated that about 9,800 Ontario women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and that 1,900 will die from this disease.
  • Breast cancer occurs primarily in women 50 to 74 years of age (57% of cases).
  • Most women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease.
  • Less than 1% of women in the general population are estimated to be at high risk for breast cancer.
  • There is no way to prevent breast cancer yet, but if breast cancer is found early, when it is very small, there is a good chance it can be cured.

Benefits of Organized Breast Cancer Screening

Women are encouraged to get screened through the OBSP because an organized screening program offers these important benefits:

  • high-quality developed mammograms in sites accredited by the Canadian Association of Radiologists
  • well-developed quality assurance at each site
  • inviting women to participate in screening
  • a reminder letter when it is time to return for next screening mammogram. Usually, this is every two years. Women over the age of 73 do not receive a reminder letter. 
  • notifying participants and primary care providers of screening results
  • help to set up extra tests or referrals if your results suggest that they are needed
  • tracking participants throughout screening process
  • evaluating program quality and performance

An organized screening program can find cancer earlier, leading to better health outcomes.


             Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP)
            Provincial Toll Free Number: 1-800-668-9304         

Chapter 12 of the Report features the Recommendations in detail as does the Report summary. Both can be accessed from our resource downloads section.

Body fatness

Body fatness

Be as lean as possible within the normal range of body weight.

Physical Activity

Physical activity

Be physically active as part of everyday life.

Foods and drink that promote weight gain

Foods and drink that promote weight gain

Limit consumption of energy-dense foods. Avoid sugary drinks.

Eat mostly foods of plant origin

Plant foods

Eat mostly foods of plant origin.

Animal foods

Animal foods

Limit intake of red meat and avoid processed meat.

Alcoholic drinks

Alcoholic drinks

Limit alcoholic drinks.

Preservation, processing, preparation

Preservation, processing, preparation

Limit consumption of salt. Avoid mouldy cereals (grains) or pulses (legumes).

Dietary supplements

Dietary supplements

Aim to meet nutritional needs through diet alone.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding

Mothers to breastfeed; children to be breastfed.

Cancer survivors

Cancer survivors

Follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.

The policy implications of the recommendations are explored in the Policy Report.

- See more at: http://www.dietandcancerreport.org/expert_report/recommendations/index.php#sthash.JvRAyLeK.dpuf

Chapter 12 of the Report features the Recommendations in detail as does the Report summary. Both can be accessed from our resource downloads section.

Body fatness

Body fatness

Be as lean as possible within the normal range of body weight.

Physical Activity

Physical activity

Be physically active as part of everyday life.

Foods and drink that promote weight gain

Foods and drink that promote weight gain

Limit consumption of energy-dense foods. Avoid sugary drinks.

Eat mostly foods of plant origin

Plant foods

Eat mostly foods of plant origin.

Animal foods

Animal foods

Limit intake of red meat and avoid processed meat.

Alcoholic drinks

Alcoholic drinks

Limit alcoholic drinks.

Preservation, processing, preparation

Preservation, processing, preparation

Limit consumption of salt. Avoid mouldy cereals (grains) or pulses (legumes).

Dietary supplements

Dietary supplements

Aim to meet nutritional needs through diet alone.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding

Mothers to breastfeed; children to be breastfed.

Cancer survivors

Cancer survivors

Follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.

The policy implications of the recommendations are explored in the Policy Report.

- See more at: http://www.dietandcancerreport.org/expert_report/recommendations/index.php#sthash.JvRAyLeK.dpubreastscreen@cancercare.on.ca

            www.cancercare.on.ca
  

Mammograms

What is a screening mammogram?

A mammogram takes an X-ray picture of the breast and can find changes in the breast even when they are too small for you or your healthcare provider to feel or see. For most women, the mammogram results will be normal.

Why have a screening mammogram?

In Ontario, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. As women get older, the chance of getting breast cancer rises. Mammograms can help to find small breast cancers before there are symptoms. If breast cancer is found at an early stage there is a high rate of successful treatment. As well, for many women, finding cancer early may allow for more treatment options, such as breast conserving surgery or less aggressive treatment.

When should women have screening mammograms?

  • In Ontario, it is recommended that women aged 50 to 74 have a screening mammogram, generally every two years.
  • Evidence shows that women aged 50−74 benefit most from regular mammograms.
  • The evidence for mammography for women aged 40−49 is not as strong as for women aged 50−74. Therefore, in Ontario it is recommended that women aged 40−49 talk to their health care provider to make a personal decision about mammography.
  • Women aged 30-69 who have been confirmed to be at high risk for breast cancer should have a screening mammogram and breast MRI every year.
  • The time to go for screening is when you feel fine. If you are ever worried about any breast problems, see your healthcare provider.
How effective are screening mammograms?
  • Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early. But, they are not perfect. They may miss some cancers. Also, some cancers develop in the interval between screens. However, many studies have shown that regular mammograms reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer.
  • Some cancers that appear on a mammogram may never progress to the point where a woman has symptoms during her lifetime. Therefore, some women may have surgery or treatment for a breast cancer that would never have been life threatening.
  • Not all cancers found at screening can be cured. 
Are mammograms safe?

Mammograms are safe. Mammograms use a low dose of radiation. The benefits of screening and finding cancer early are more important than any potential harm from the X-ray.

What happens during the mammogram?

  • A registered medical radiation technologist specializing in mammography will place your breast on a special X-ray machine.
  • A plastic plate will be pressed down slowly to flatten your breast and hold it in place for a few seconds.
  • You will feel some pressure on your breast for a few seconds during the X-ray. This pressure does not harm your breast tissue.
  • Four pictures are taken, two of each breast.
  • The technologist will check the pictures to make sure they are good enough quality for the radiologist to read. If needed the technologist will take additional pictures.
How does it feel?

You will feel some pressure on your breast. It feels similar to a tight blood pressure cuff. A few women experience pain but it lasts only for a few seconds. If you feel pain during the X-ray, tell the technologist. The technologist may be able to adjust the pressure. The two of you can work together to make it as comfortable an experience as possible.

Some tips…

  • Most women’s breasts are tender the week before and after their period. Book your mammogram for a time when your breasts are not so tender.
  • Some women take a mild pain relief pill, such as the kind you would take for a headache, about one hour before the appointment. Only do this if it will not affect any other medicines or any health concerns you may have.
  • Some experts suggest having less caffeine for two weeks before the appointment to help reduce tenderness.
How to get ready for a mammogram

On the day of the mammogram:

  • Do wear a two-piece outfit. You will be asked to remove your top.
  • Do not use deodorants, antiperspirants, body lotions, or talcum powders. Metals in these products can show up on the X-ray picture.

Where should you go to have a mammogram?

  • To ensure you receive a good quality mammogram, go to a site that has been accredited by the Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR) Mammography Accreditation Program. URL: www.car.ca or call the Canadian Cancer Society Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333.
  • All Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) sites have CAR accreditation.
What does it mean if more tests are needed?
  • Most women needing more tests do not have breast cancer. 
  • Your result letter will state that you need more tests.
  • Your doctor or the breast screening site will book these tests for you.  
  • Your OBSP screening images may need to be sent to the doctor at the centre where the tests will be done. The screening centre may be able to arrange this; however, in some cases, your help may be needed.

Mammograms - Cancer Care Ontario 

  

Created February 2003

Revised July 21, 2017

Twice now, a good friend has told me, " I kept putting off going for my mammogram, but i finally went, and they found cancer." Both these friends are well still with us because their cancer was found early. Never let fear keep you from going for your mammogram - You are to precious to lose. Take action! You are worth it!
Maureen McMillan, Sudbury
  
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