The Canadian Cancer Society’s Response to the findings of the Quebec College of Physicians’ review of mammograms

27 March 2012

Montreal, QC -

It is the view of the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) that the Quebec College of Physicians report issued this morning following a quality review of over 22,000 mammograms requires immediate attention. The report’s conclusions point to weaknesses in our healthcare system as well as the need for vigilance where access to care is concerned.

The CCS is deeply saddened to see that 109 women who did not receive appropriate follow-up after their routine mammogram tests are now fighting breast cancer, in some cases very advanced. The CCS also believes that the experience undergone by thousands of women in Quebec in the past few months has been extremely stressful and excruciating for them and their loved ones.

However, the CSS would like to tell people living with cancer that they should continue to have confidence in the care they receive. “The ten recommendations issued this morning by the Quebec College of Physicians are reassuring,” said Diane Lamontagne, spokesperson for the CCS. “We believe that the government and health professionals have shown, in this review, that they are ready to respond to public concerns and ensure better quality control for mammogram readings.”

The CCS reminds all women aged between 50 and 69 years that getting a mammogram screening every two years is the best method of early breast cancer detection to increase the chances of successful treatment. Accordingly, the CCS encourages women to take part in the Quebec Breast Cancer Screening Program. It would also like to point out that the results of this review do not cast doubt on other breast cancer diagnostic tools (ultrasound, biopsy, genetic testing) or the treatment of the disease (surgery, radiation, chemotherapy).

Women who are worried about the results of their mammography test can call the Info-Santé helpline by dialling 811 or the CCS’s Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333. The CSS is aware that waiting for a potential cancer diagnosis is often a source of distress; as a result, it provides professional psychosocial support on the same helpline.

To learn more about cancer, please visit our website,

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 or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For more information, please contact:

André Beaulieu

Spokesperson and Senior Advisor, Public Relations

Canadian Cancer Society

Quebec Division

Phone: (514) 393-3444