Canadian women are in the dark about their breast density
3.4 million women in Canada have dense breasts and most don’t know it because no one has told them.
- Women have the right to know if they are at increased risk of breast cancer because of their breast density.
- Women need to know that a normal mammogram result may not be accurate if they have dense breasts.
- Women have the right to have an informed discussion with their physician about their risk factors.
- Women need to understand how they can reduce their risk of breast cancer.
In less than a minute, here’s how you can make a difference. Tell your Health Minister and/or Premier that women have the right to know their breast density.
OPTION # 1
- Take a selfie or use any picture of yourself.
- Email the selfie to your Premier and/or Health Minister with the subject line #Tellme (addresses below)
- If you prefer to tweet, use the hashtag #TellMe #DisMoi (twitter handles in chart below)
- Or just post on your social media and tag us Twitter: @densebreastscdn Facebook: @Dense Breasts Canada Instagram @DenseBreastsCanada
- Ask your friends and family to do the same- there’s definitely power in numbers!
If you are feeling camera shy, just send an email or tweet with this message, “I have a right to know my breast density so I can make informed healthcare decisions” and add the hashtag #tellme or #dismoi. Even your male friends and family can take a selfie and send it in with the message:” My _____has a right to know her breast density.”
|Province||Email or Tweet Premier||Email or Tweet Health Minister|
|AB||Premier Rachel Notley
|The Honourable Sarah Hoffman
|MB||Premier Brian Pallister
|The Honourable Cameron Friesen
|SK||Premier Scott Moe
|The Honourable Jim Reiter
|ON||Premier Doug Ford
|The Honourable Christine Elliott
|QC||Premier Philippe Couillard
|The Honourable Danielle McCann
|NS||Premier Stephen McNeil
|The Honourable Randy Delorey
|NB||Premier Blaine Higgs
|The Honourable Hugh Flemming
|PEI||Premier Wade MacLauchlan
|The Honourable Robert Mitchell
|NL||Premier Dwight Ball
|The Honourable John Haggie
|NWT||Premier Bob McLeod
|The Honourable Glen Abernethy
|YT||Premier Sandy Silver
|The Honourable Pauline Frost
Why Kathy Kaufield started the #tellme/ #dismoi campaign
Rarely a day goes by that I don’t give profound thanks for the fluke that allowed me to find my breast cancer before it was too late.
I found my breast cancer by accident in November 2015 when I stayed at a hotel that didn’t have those shower puffs I use at home.
I hopped into the shower as I prepared for a busy day at a conference. I grabbed the hotel bar of soap. My soapy hand grazed over the underside of my left breast and there it was.
The dreaded lump. And it was big-just a wee bit smaller than a golf ball.
How the hell did I not notice that before?
I swallowed my panic. It can’t be cancer, I told myself. It’s just a cyst. It’s fine.
I just had a clear mammogram four months earlier.
It turned out not to be fine. It was cancer and all I could think was: this cannot be happening to me. I have two daughters who need me. I’m too young. My grandmother had breast cancer, but it doesn’t really run in our family. Neither my mom nor her seven sisters or any of their cousins have had breast cancer. I’m pretty active. I eat well. I use chemical free shampoos and creams.
It turns out that I am one of about 81,000 New Brunswick women over the age of 40 who have dense breasts. I did not know I had dense breasts. I also did not know having dense breasts meant I had a higher chance of developing breast cancer and that it would be harder to detect.
Both dense breast tissue and cancer appear white on a mammogram. I didn’t know I shouldn’t trust that mammogram as much as I did. I didn’t know that a cluster of aggressive cancer cells that could not reasonably be seen on my mammogram was multiplying in my left breast. I’ve been to hell and back since then-breast surgery, 16 rounds of chemo therapy, six weeks of radiation and now hormone therapy. Cancer recovery has been hellish hard, and I struggle with the fear of my cancer coming back, but thankfully I have a good prognosis.
I remain haunted, though, by the thought of what would have happened if I didn’t go to that hotel without the puff?
What if I didn’t find the lump for another several months?
What if the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes and bones?
Now I am on a mission to raise awareness about breast density. I want to help prevent other New Brunswick women from leaving their breast health to chance like I did.
UPDATE: Kathy’s campaign in New Brunswick has resulted in leaders of the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party pledging to implement breast density notification if elected Sept 24th. We will hold them to that election promise. Way to go Kathy! Let’s get this done across Canada!
We are women with families and friends who love us and we have
a right to lifesaving health information.
Together, we can show we are not faceless. Together, our voices can be heard.
Please take just a moment to send in a picture and help make a difference
in the lives of Canadian women.
TELL US HOW DENSE BREASTS AFFECTED YOUR DIAGNOSIS
You could always e-mail us your story at email@example.com Photos are welcomed, but it is your choice. Thank you for sharing your story and helping to inform other women.