Mammothon, is a breast cancer screening marathon to encourage as many women as possible who are overdue or who have never been screened to get up-to-date by completing a mammogram. This year, Mammothon has been organized by several Regional Cancer Programs (RCP) across Ontario. Over 60 Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) imaging sites participated in the event to screen as many women as possible for breast cancer. The purpose of this large-scale province-wide campaign is to help address common barriers that prevent women from screening regularly for breast cancer including fear/embarrassment, limited time, and lack of awareness.
Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer in Canadian women, with one in 7.8 women expected to be diagnosed in their lifetime (Cancer Care Ontario [CCO], 2016). More specifically, an estimated 9 800 Ontario women will be diagnosed with BC this year and over 1 950 will die from the disease (CCO, 2015). Convincing evidence has demonstrated that early detection of BC with regular mammograms is the most effective way to reduce cancer mortality, and in many cases, enhance treatment options of BC if found early (CCO, 2015).
Although overall screening rates for the three Ontario provincial screening programs (e.g., Ontario Breast Screening Program, Ontario Cervical Screening Program, ColonCancerCheck) are on the rise, the screening rates for BC still remain suboptimal with only 59% of Ontario women ages 50-74 being screened with mammography in 2011-2013 (CCO, 2015). As a result, there are still many women who would benefit from regular BC screening. Therefore, efforts aimed at increasing BC screening rates among women are needed.
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