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Cancer researchers welcome NL's decision to lower breast cancer screening age

Cancer researchers welcome NL's decision to lower breast cancer screening age


A woman wearing a black jacket sitting inside the lobby.
Sebtap Savas is a cancer researcher at Memorial University. She praised the state government's move to lower the recommended age for breast cancer screening to 40. (Mike Moore/CBC)

A recommendation to lower the age for breast cancer screening in Newfoundland and Labrador to 40 has not yet been implemented, but one cancer researcher says it will allow more women to get screened. It is said that there is a high possibility that treatment outcomes will improve.

The Canadian Cancer Society has recommended lowering the starting age for breast cancer screening from 50 to 40. The state government followed suit this week, announcing that an estimated 34,000 more women would be eligible for screening by lowering the age to 40.

Sevtap Sabas, a cancer researcher at Memorial University, said the changes will allow more cases to be detected earlier and allow more women who don't have a primary care physician to get tested.

“There is a trend of increasing breast incidents.” [cancer]”Similar to colon cancer in young people,” Savas told CBC Radio on Wednesday. “In most cases, these young people are diagnosed late, which means that…they may require more extensive treatment and, in some cases, have worse outcomes.”I therefore welcome this decision. ”

An emailed public service announcement from NL Health Services issued Thursday said the recommendation has not yet been implemented within the health system as it is working with the Ministry of Health to ensure appropriate resources are in place. Ta.

The announcement added that more information will be provided as it becomes available, but that celebrities in their 40s should discuss breast cancer screening and other options with their health care providers.

Approximately 40 per cent of Canadians have cancer, Savas said, adding that symptoms often go unnoticed because women over 40 are not eligible for screening.

If early symptoms are caught, they usually lead to health problems, she added.

“The hope is that this screening program may actually detect tumors, even if they don't show symptoms, which usually happens when they're small or in early stages.”

A woman approximately in her thirties with long brown hair and brown eyes wearing a light blue blazer with a yellow daffodil emblem on one collar over a white T-shirt, against a plain off-white background She is smiling at the camera in an upper body portrait.
Heather Mulligan, director of advocacy for the Canadian Cancer Society in Atlantic Canada, says early detection of cancer benefits all parts of health care. (Courtesy of Heather Mulligan)

Heather Mulligan, advocacy manager for the Canadian Cancer Society, said she is excited that the province is moving to allow women more timely access to care.

Mulligan acknowledged that increasing the number of women eligible for testing would add additional costs to the health-care system, while health-care systems in other parts of Canada tend to benefit from earlier detection of cancer. said.

“Terminal cancer has very different costs to the health care system, requiring more intensive treatment, longer stays in hospital beds and ICUs, and longer treatment durations,” she said. .

listen | Watch Heather Mulligan's full conversation with CBC's Lee Ann Power.

CBC Newfoundland Morning6:59Women in their 40s also have a new opportunity for breast cancer screening. I spoke to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Because breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada, the provincial government is encouraging women to participate in the breast cancer screening program, starting at age 50. Now, the Canadian Cancer Society has lowered that age to 40 years. , the state agreed to accept new guidelines to test an additional 34,000 women. Heather Mulligan is the advocacy manager for the Canadian Cancer Society. She spoke with CBC's Lee Ann Power.

“Early detection improves the health of not only patients but also the health care system.”

Mulligan said the move would also benefit women's primary health care and set the standard for breast health as they age. She said other states have increased screening rates by lowering the age, but barriers still exist for marginalized groups and rural communities.

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