Judy Foote, Member of Parliament for Random-Burin-St. George’s, presented a petition to Parliament today calling on the federal government to establish funding for breast screening programs for women beginning at age 40.
“We know that early detection is key to helping women survive breast cancer. With early detection from improved screening practices, we can continue to reduce breast cancer mortality in Canada. “The problem is that women in their forties have not had access to mammograms. This needs to change across the country,” said Foote.
Foote recently attended the 2010 National Conference for Young Women Living with Breast Cancer. Yvonne Jones, Leader of the Liberal Party in Newfoundland and Labrador and Leader of the Official Opposition was the guest speaker at the event and shared her experience of having been recently diagnosed with breast cancer at just 42 years of age.
“Many of us know someone fighting breast cancer. While we keep these people in our thoughts and prayers, we also have a responsibility to ensure we are doing everything we can to support them in their fight. We need to continue to reduce breast cancer mortality and improved screening practices are critical to achieving that objective,” said Foote.
“Women who were diagnosed with breast cancer in their forties account for one in six of all breast cancer deaths. If mammography screening was available to the three million Canadian women in their forties, we could expect to save 2,100 lives over 10 years. Currently, breast cancer screening programs are not available to women under age 50 in Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. However, women under 50 can access programs in British Columbia, Yukon, Albert and Northwest Territories,” said Foote. “I am calling on the federal government to work with the provinces and territories to establish a nation-wide screening program that offers free of charge breast screening beginning at age 40 and that enables women to refer themselves. Lives would be saved.”
Judy M. Foote