Advocate for yourself.
Your healthcare provider may not be up-to-date on the risks of dense breasts.
However, you know that women with dense breasts face a higher risk of cancer and that mammograms can fail to detect cancer because both dense tissue and cancer appear white.
We outline in detail what to discuss with your doctor on our Get Informed page under the section “What If I Have Dense Breasts?”
You can refer your doctor/nurse practitioner to the Health Professionals tab on densebreast-info.org
You can take this excellent checklist to your next visit and discuss your risks.
Print and take to your doctor these recommendations from Canada's breast cancer screening experts at the Canadian Association of Radiologists and the Canadian Society of Breast Imaging https://csbi.ca/
Current breast screening recommendations for average risk women from the Canadian Association of Radiologists and Canadian Society of Breast Imaging are summarized as follows:
1. Women aged 40-49 should screen ANNUALLY with mammography
2. Women aged 50-74 should screen every one to two years with mammography
3. Women OVER aged 74 should screen every one to two years with mammography for as long as they are in good general health with life expectancy of approximately 7 years or greater
4. Below age 40 screening is not recommended for average risk women, but risk should be assessed by age 25-30 in order to determine if early screening is appropriate.
Spread the word.
Tell other women.
Ask friends, family and colleagues if they have heard about breast density. If not, tell them why it’s important. Encourage women to find out their density. Details by province can be found HERE.
Share your story on our website.
If your cancer diagnosis was delayed because you have dense breasts, please share your story. Stories are empowering and impactful for others.
Please email us: email@example.com OR upload your story on our page: STORIES.
Join our team.
We are looking for members from every province to help us raise awareness and advocate for density notification. There is much to be done. Click here to email us for more information and please also visit our CONTACT page for examples of volunteer roles.
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We have made great progress in Canada on breast density notification in the past two years. Currently BC, AB, MB, NS, NB and PEI are directly informing women in their mammogram results letters mailed to them. In 2021, we have commitments from ON, SK, YT and NL to begin.
In QC, the information will be online in each woman's health booklet. Advocacy continues in QC for direct notification.
Also, advocacy continues to ensure that women in Canada with dense breasts can access screening ultrasound. Please contact us if you are interested in advocating for increased ultrasound access for women with dense breasts.
British Columbia: The Honourable HLTH.Minister@gov.bc.ca
Alberta: The Honourable Tyler Shandro
Saskatchewan: The Honourable Jim Reiter
Manitoba: The Honourable Cameron Friesen
Ontario: The Honourable Christine Elliott
Québec: The Honourable Christian Dube
Nova Scotia: The Honourable Randy Delorey
New Brunswick: The Honourable Hugh Flemming
Prince Edward Island: The Honourable James Aylward
Newfoundland: The Honorable John Haggie
FEDERAL HEALTH MINISTER:
The Honourable Patty Hajdu