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  • Kyle Bolt

Self-Referring Mammography Program Announced

I am so happy to see this announcement come to fruition. It is a file I worked on as women’s minister. Women 40-49 can now self-refer for a mammogram, which means breast cancer will be detected earlier and lives will be saved.

The provincial government is expanding its cancer screening program, allowing women aged 40-49 to self-refer for a mammogram.

Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for women in that age group; they account for 17.5 per cent of all breast cancer deaths in Canada.

While breast cancer is not as common in younger, premenopausal women, it can be more aggressive. In these cases, early detection is critical to increase the chances of survival.

“With early detection comes less aggressive treatments and a better quality of life for the patient and their family,” said Sherry Wilson, minister responsible for addictions and mental health services. “This will allow women who are diagnosed to return to a normal life sooner.”

Wilson spoke on behalf of Health Minister Bruce Fitch.

In addition to less invasive treatments, this new screening option takes into consideration women who may not have a primary health-care provider.

“Prioritizing the breast health of all New Brunswick women is an important step in reducing the occurrence of advanced and metastatic breast cancer in women aged 40-49,” said Wilson.

“Breast cancer is a formidable foe, and we know that early detection is our best weapon,” said Daryl Steeves, interim VP professional services with Horizon Health Network. “This initiative, simply put, will save lives, increasing the chances of survival for New Brunswick women in this high-risk age group, empowering them to take control of their own health and ensure they are able to receive the timely care they deserve.”

Eligible participants will be able to self-refer by contacting one of the screening sites in their area. The program will be in place early next year.

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