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Breast cancer: Let's be optimistic


Dear Editor: While it seems that bad news abounds about breast cancer in Newfoundland and Labrador with the ongoing judicial inquiry and recent resignations of pathologists, I want to remind everyone there are still reasons to remain hopeful. Recently, hundreds of women from across Newfoundland and Labrador attended the ninth annual Newfoundland and Labrador Breast Cancer Retreat. They gathered to connect as survivors, learn about advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, hear about complementary therapies and enjoy an inspirational weekend together. The growth and exceptional feedback on this event underscores the passion that survivors have for their ongoing health and well-being.

Dear Editor:

While it seems that bad news abounds about breast cancer in Newfoundland and Labrador with the ongoing judicial inquiry and recent resignations of pathologists, I want to remind everyone there are still reasons to remain hopeful.

Recently, hundreds of women from across Newfoundland and Labrador attended the ninth annual Newfoundland and Labrador Breast Cancer Retreat. They gathered to connect as survivors, learn about advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, hear about complementary therapies and enjoy an inspirational weekend together. The growth and exceptional feedback on this event underscores the passion that survivors have for their ongoing health and well-being.

And just last month, the provincial government announced in its 2008 budget a $10.9 million dollar investment in 12 digital mammography machines. Digital mammography is considered the gold standard in breast screening. Having this technology means that women in the province will have greater access to screening, shorter wait times and a consistent standard of care - regardless of where they live.

The next challenge in Newfoundland and Labrador will be to get eligible women in for screening. The province currently has one of the highest death rates from breast cancer in Canada. This year in Newfoundland and Labrador, 370 women will learn they have breast cancer and an additional 100 will die from the disease.

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation has set a goal to have 85 per cent of all eligible women in Atlantic Canada routinely screened for breast cancer. Next year, the Tour for the Cure will hit the road as part of our plan. This public education campaign will help women in Atlantic Canada understand the importance of early and regular screening and address any fears or misunderstandings about breast screening.

When it comes to breast cancer, early detection is a woman's best defence. Let's learn from the past and look to the future, one without breast cancer.

Nancy Margeson, CEO

CBCF - Atlantic

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