Breast Cancer Screening

ᐃᔅᐧᑫᐅᒡ ᐅᒎᒎᔑᒧᐧᐋᐤᐦ ᐁ ᔖᐧᐹᐸᒫᑲᓄᔨᐧᑖᐤᐦ

Update March 16, 2020

ClaraBus has been postponed until further notice. 

Watch the teachings of Christina Matoush, Nurse, on YouTube.

What is Breast Cancer Screening?

Breast cancer screening checks for cancer in your breast before you or your doctor notice anything wrong (such as a lump). We recommend that all women aged 50 – 69 years be screened for breast cancer every two years. Before making a decision, it is important to understand the Benefits and Risks of having your breasts screened for cancer.

How is it done?

By having a screening mammogram, which takes X-rays of your breasts. This is done by compressing your breast between two plates of the X-ray machine to take pictures of different angles of your breast.

Where can I be screened?

The ClaraBus, which is a mobile mammogram machine offered by the Public Health Institute of Quebec, comes to the communities every two years.

*Women from Whapmagoostui will be flown to Chisasibi*

If you happen to be out of town or unable to make it to your appointment with ClaraBus, please inform your local Chishaayiyuu CHR to make other arrangements to have your test done.  

What is breast cancer?

The cells in your breast can sometimes change or no longer grow or act normally. These changes may cause: 1. Non-cancerous (benign) breast conditions, such a cyst, which are not harmful. 2. Breast cancer, which is a group of cancer cells (tumor) that may or may not grow into and destroy nearby tissues. They can also spread to other parts of the body (metastasize).

What can happen if breast cancer is found?

Three different situations:

1. Breast cancer that can be treated and cured.

2. Breast cancer that can get worse. Some breast cancers can not be cured.

3. Breast cancer that will not get worse. Some breast cancer will be treated even though it would have done no harm if left alone. This is what we call Overdiagnosis.

It is not possible to know which type of cancer a woman might have. This is why treatment is recommended whenever breast cancer is found. 

Is breast self-examination still recommended?

No, checking your own breasts every month is no longer recommended. If you have a symptom that concerns you, such as a lump in your breast, we encourage you to have it checked it out by the doctor at your CMC.  

RECOMMENDATIONS

Recommendation for women 50–69 years old

You will get a letter from the CBHSSJB Public health department, inviting you to be screened with the ClaraBus/SophieAir.

What are the benefits and risks of having a screening mammogram?

Watch this video of Georgina Forward and Nancy Voyageur.

Benefits

Some women who have had a screening mammogram will be prevented from dying from breast cancer. These women get a head start on cancer treatment, which can help stop it from spreading to the rest of the body.

For example, Georgina had an abnormal result after her screening mammogram. She went to Val-D’or Hospital, which they did an ultrasound and biopsy and was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was treated in Montreal at the Breast Clinic and is now in remission from breast cancer. 

Risks: 

Sometimes abnormal results from a mammogram look like cancer, but turn out to be non-cancerous. Women with these false alarms may suffer from physical and emotional stress, and anxiety while waiting for follow-up tests.

For example, Nancy had an abnormal result after her screening mammogram. She went to Val-D’or Hospital, which they did a diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy to find out it is not cancer.

Let’s have a look at the Benefits and Risks of being screened for breast cancer.

Of 1000 women your age (50 - 69 years old) who screened with a mammogram every 2 years:

  • More women have additional examinations
  • More breast cancers are discovered
  • There are less breast cancer deaths
  • Some breast cancers found will be cases of overdiagnosis

For this age group, experts feel that there are more benefits than risks. 

This is why we recommend you to be screened for breast cancer, but the choice is yours! It is up to you to decide if you would like to be screened!

If you would like to be screened with ClaraBus, contact your local Chiishayiyuu CHR or medical secretary to book an appointment. It is important to also note that women of Whapmaagoostui will be followed in Chisasibi.  Please bring your letter and your medical card to your appointment.

If for any reason, you can’t be screened with ClaraBus, please contact your local Chiishayiyuu CHR to make other arrangements.

If you decide to not be screened, please inform your please contact your local Chiishayiyuu CHR of your decision.

Recommendations for all women with a family history of breast cancer

If you have a biological family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer, we recommend that you visit your doctor to discuss at what age to begin screening. In the case of a very strong family history, a genetics consultation may be advised.

If you do not have a biological family history of breast or ovarian cancer, you will be contacted when you turn 50 and offered the opportunity to be screened in the CLARA bus program.

Recommendations vary by age and family history.

Recommendations for all women with a family history of breast cancer

If you have a biological family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer, we recommend that you visit your doctor to discuss at what age to begin screening. In the case of a very strong family history, a genetics consultation may be advised.

If you do not have a biological family history of breast or ovarian cancer, you will be contacted when you turn 50 and offered the opportunity to be screened in the CLARA bus program.

Recommendations vary by age and family history.

Click on this link  https://youtu.be/qSjqJpXpTpo to watch a video of Lucy Trapper, sister of a breast cancer survivor.

Recommendations for women under 50 years old and over 69 years old

Any screening before the age of 50 or after the age of 69 requires a special visit with the physician for informed consent. In this case, a consult must be provided by the physician.

For more information: 

Irene Chu, BScN, MPH, RN

Nurse Counsellor for Chronic Diseases Management

Regional Public Health Department

Email: irene.chu@ssss.gouv.qc.ca

 

Maggie Odell, MDCM

Medical Advisor

DPSMA/Regional Public Health Department

Email: maggie.odell@ssss.gouv.qc.ca