Breast cancer is one of the most treatable cancers, but early detection is crucial.
That’s why the Mother Daughter Breakfast Tour, put on by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, is touring B.C. high schools to educate youngsters, as well as their mothers and aunts, said Myrna Holman, director, volunteer and community initiatives for the foundation.
“It’s a great forum for teachers and mothers and daughters to get this information,” she said. “It helps them to talk about their bodies and be knowledgeable about their bodies.”
This year’s tour, which began in February and runs until the end of May, will hit 51 schools over the course of three months. Since its launch four years ago, more than 7,000 girls and women have attended.
The Breakfast Tour begins with leaders such as Sarah Prud’homme speaking on general breast health and early detection and prevention tips. They are then followed by a speaker who has survived breast cancer. This year’s was Lavonne Campbell.
“She had a girl come up to her and say that she had seen her speak at her school earlier that spring and it had started a dialogue in her family,” said Prud’homme of Campbell and the ripple effect that the presentations can have. “She got her mom to go for a mammogram, then her mom talked to her sister, who got her aunt to go, and her aunt found a tumour. It saved her life.”
In Canada, an estimated 22,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Women over 40 can receive free mammograms without even a doctor’s referral, yet less than half of women do, said Prud’homme.
“A lot of women are afraid to look because they might find something,” she said. “Breast cancer is one of the most treatable cures; it’s just so important that we find it early.”