The Canadian Breast Cancer Network is pleased to welcome a new member to our board of directors. Cathy Hemeon of Mount Pearl, Newfoundland brings many years of experience in the health care field to her new role. She, like all CBCN board members, is also a breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed in February 2016 with Stage I triple positive breast cancer following a screening MRI.
Dense breasts are common in Canadian women, affecting about 3.4 million women. Having dense breasts makes it harder to detect cancer on a mammogram yet women are not being told.
I went for my regularly scheduled mammogram in April 2014. The notice I received for my mammogram stated that I was to be screened annually because I had 'dense breast tissue’. This was the first time I had heard that term. When I went for my mammogram in Regina, I told the tech that my letter stated that I had 'dense breast tissue’. After the mammogram, she looked at the images and said yes, “dense breasts.” I had no idea what this meant for me, but I was to find out soon.
Roughly 40% of Canadian women, meaning about 3 million women, have what is known as “dense breasts.” Dense breasts are normal and common, but they also pose cancer risks and screening challenges. Breast density can have a significant impact on cancer detection and the treatment and prognosis of a diagnosed cancer. Many women in Canada are unaware of their breast density, impacting their screening and their ability to be their own breast health advocate. Why is knowing and understanding your breast density so important?