Island Women Show Support in Fight Against Breast Cancer

18 April 2011

Charlottetown -

It’s called a Thing-a-ma-boob, and while it may be a silly sounding name it carries a serious message. The Canadian Cancer Society is using the Thing-a-ma-boob to spread the word that regular mammograms save lives.  

The Thing-a-ma-boob is a novelty keychain made of beads of different sizes. Those beads show various sized lumps that can be detected through a variety of breast-screening methods, illustrating the importance of mammograms in catching breast cancer when it is most treatable.

“The Thing-a-ma-boob is a clever way of drawing attention to a serious topic,” says Marla Delaney, of the Canadian Cancer Society, P.E.I. Division. “Breast screening is a simple and proactive way to fight against cancer.  This key chain sends a message all women need to hear.”

Summerside lawyer Nancy Key is one of many Island women proudly sporting a Thing-a-ma-boob.  Key has successfully battled breast cancer.  She was diagnosed in 2007 as a result of a mammogram.  “Early detection of breast cancer is vital. If the Thing-a-ma-boob makes even one woman get examined or have a mammogram, then it’s doing its job,” says Key. 

Nancy Key along with  Chief Medical Officer of P.E.I., Dr. Heather Morrison,  U-Fit Founder Eireann Rigby, Broadcaster Kerri Wynne MacLeod and Singer Songwriter Meaghan Blanchard  came together to help promote this initiative of the Canadian Cancer Society.

E.C.M.A. winner Meaghan Blanchard is proud to be a part of the fight against cancer.  "It's amazing how many of my girlfriends have asked me about my Thing-a-ma-boob.  Talking about cancer is tough, because a lot of young women my age rarely think about breast cancer happening to them. I know I didn't. But the Thing-a-ma-boob is an incredible reminder of how important it will be when we're older to book regular mammograms,” says Blanchard.

Breast cancer continues to be the most common type of cancer facing women. This year alone, about 100 women on Prince Edward Island will be diagnosed with the disease. The good news is that survival rates have improved dramatically.  When detected at its earliest stage 97% of women survive. 

P.E.I.’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison welcomes the conversations triggered by her Thing-a-ma-boob.  "I have kept the Thing-a-ma-boob attached to my stethoscope so I touch it often as I work and it reminds me why I am doing my job... trying to prevent and minimize illness, and trying to help people manage disease.  I have been asked about it by other colleagues, nurses and patients alike and I enjoy explaining what the Thing-a-ma-boob represents.  In so doing, I can only hope that it may encourage some to get screened and get a loved one screened for cancer,” says Dr. Morrison. 

The Thing-a-ma-boob is available from now until Mother’s Day at all 10 Murphy’s Pharmacies across P.E.I.  It sells for $5.00 with all proceeds going to the Canadian Cancer Society, P.E.I. Division.

For more information on cancer screening contact the Canadian Cancer Society, 1-888-939-3333, or go to www.getscreenedpei.ca.

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For more information, please contact:

Lori Barker

Executive Director

Phone: 902-566-4007