October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM)
The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) is celebrating the progress that has been made across the breast cancer spectrum and we encourage Canadians to get involved with the work ahead of us to create a future without breast cancer.
New e-tool: My Breast, My Test – an exciting new decision aid tool for Canadian women
Of interest to public health practitioners, as part of BCAM, in partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart, we created My Breasts, My Test (http://www.mybreastsmytest.ca/) an online decision aid based on accurate, unbiased information to help women make an informed choice about regular mammogram screening. This website answers frequently asked questions about mammography, outlines the benefits and limitations of regular mammograms and addresses common risk factors.
We have developed a user-centred tool to provide a simple overview of mammography with a focus on questions from never and under screened women in Canada to help them make an informed decision. The tool provides clear plain language information and includes sections on:
- Why have one (on the benefits and limitations of screening as well as an info graphic showing what is involved and how likely you might be called back for further testing)
- What’s it like (including a video that address many questions and possible concerns on having a mammogram)
- Am I at risk (including information on what puts you at risk for breast cancer and what are the factors for “high risk” breast cancer patients)
- Making a choice (an optional section with self-reflection exercises)
All of the information throughout is general to screening mammography programs across the country. Women who optionally put in their province, age and screening history receive a personalized screening guide that provides the age specific recommendations for the screening programs in their province or territory that is offered by their provincial cancer agency or health authorities. In Ontario we have included an interactive map showing your nearest Ontario Breast Cancer Screening Program (OBSP) sites where women over 50 can book their own appointments without a referral from their health care provider. For other provinces, the toll free line to book an appointment is included for each province.
The personalized screening guide, can be e-mailed or printed out, and also includes a snap shot of the information included in the tool and the self-reflection exercises (either done online or completed off line after depending on a woman’s preference).
The tool takes approximately 5 minutes to use and can help women have a better understanding of screening mammography help debunk many myths as well as the real benefits and limitations.
To see and use the decision aid tool please visit http://www.cbcf.org/mytest.
We are currently working on a French version of the tool and anticipate it will be released in late November or December.
Event – Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day
Breast Reconstruction Awareness (BRA) Day is a Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation program that promotes education, awareness and access for women who may wish to consider post-mastectomy breast reconstruction.
Information and resources are available on the BRA Day website (http://www.bra-day.com/) but the most innovative aspect of BRA Day is its series of events across Canada for women to attend to learn more about post-mastectomy breast reconstruction.
At BRA Day events across Canada, women have the opportunity to connect with medical professionals and share their experiences with each other, helping empower them to make informed choices about breast reconstruction. These events also allow women to develop realistic expectations of what reconstruction can achieve by providing the opportunity to see real life reconstruction results in the “Show & Tell Lounge”.
BRA day events provide women with the opportunity to:
- Learn about their breast reconstruction options from plastic surgeons
- Hear patient stories and connect with women who’ve been through it
- Develop realistic expectations of what reconstruction can achieve
- Get answers to their reconstruction questions
See our events calendar to find a BRA Day event during Breast Cancer Awareness Month: http://www.cbcf.org/central/GetInvolved/Events/Pages/default.aspx. Visit the BRA Day website for all the BRA Day information: http://www.bra-day.com/.
Patient Support Services
Earlier this year CBCF merged with Willow Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support. Our new combined organization, under the CBCF banner, now touches the full spectrum of breast cancer – from the laboratory and clinic where the latest innovations are developed, to direct patient peer support. The joining of our two organizations means CBCF will be a leader in every stage of the breast cancer continuum. This change comes at an auspicious time, as CBCF celebrates our 30th anniversary since the launch of our organization.
The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is now Canada’s largest network of breast cancer support services. Reach out for the support and information that you need.
No one should have to face breast cancer alone. That’s why the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation provides emotional support and credible information to anyone affected by breast cancer or at increased genetic risk for developing the disease. We help women and men living with a breast cancer or high-risk diagnosis, as well as their families, friends, and caregivers – at any stage of their experience.
Support and information can be accessed in various ways:
- Toll-free helpline 1.888.778.3100
- Website: support.cbcf.org
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re here to help because we’ve been there. No one understands the impact a breast cancer or high-risk diagnosis can have on your life as well as someone who has experienced it herself. Callers to CBCF’s helpline can speak with a knowledgeable and compassionate member of our Support Team – a woman who has had a breast cancer or high-risk diagnosis and is specially trained to provide support and information.
Visit our dedicated website to find clear, accurate and up-to-date information on breast cancer:support.cbcf.org.
It can be very beneficial to connect face-to-face with others who are going through or have gone through a similar experience. At breast cancer support groups across Canada, women can find support, information, and camaraderie.
Visit support.cbcf.org to find a support group in your community.
We also offer training and ongoing support for volunteers to start and sustain community-based peer support groups for women with breast cancer or at high risk. Visit support.cbcf.org to learn more.
For More Information on Breast Cancer and BCAM
To find out more about BCAM and how to get involved please visit https://goo.gl/4PhbY3.
Sign up to receive our next newsletter featuring Breast Cancer Awareness Month news: http://www.cbcf.org/central/AboutUsMain/PublicationsVideos/Pages/Newslet....
Also be sure to check out our updates on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/CanadianBreastCancerFoundation/), Twitter (https://twitter.com/cbcf), and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/cbcf/) and share your Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities with us.