Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Canadian Cancer Society experts available to talk about research, early detection and finding support when faced with cancer

16 September 2014


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the Canadian Cancer Society is the authoritative source for reliable information about statistics, progress in research, importance of early detection and finding support services.

Available for interviews are:

Dr Kelly Fathers, PhD, Senior Manager, Research Communications, Ontario Division, can talk about cutting edge research funded by the Society and the progress that has been made.

John Atkinson, Director, Cancer Prevention, Ontario Division, can talk about prevention and early detection.

Jan MacVinnie, Manager, Cancer Information Service, Ontario Division, can talk about information, support and services available to patients and their families when faced with cancer.

  • Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canadian women.
  • 1 in 9 women will develop breast cancer over their lifetime.
  • The five-year survival rate is 88% today compared with 73% in the 1980s.
  • In 2014, an estimated 24,600 Canadians will be diagnosed with breast cancer and an estimated 5,000 will die of the disease.
  • Breast cancer deaths have declined by 43% since the 1980s due to earlier detection and better therapies.
  • The Society has supported 74 vital breast cancer clinical trials since 1980.

Canadian Cancer Society-funded research has:

  • revealed that lumpectomy with radiation is just as effective in treating early stage breast cancer as mastectomy, meaning more women keep their breasts.
  •  helped to significantly improve mammography technology by creating computerized images of breast tissue, reducing patients’ exposure to x-rays.
  • helped to discover the BRCA1 gene, which ultimately resulted in genetic screening to identify people at high risk of developing breast cancer.
  • changed the way breast cancer is treated worldwide with a clinical trial showing that women who take the drug letrozole after tamoxifen therapy have a significantly lower risk of their cancer recurring.
  • linked BRCA1 gene mutations with basal breast cancer, a hard-to-treat form of this disease. This finding paved the way for new lines of research, including directed chemotherapies to treat this disease.
  • discovered a new way to prevent the disease with a clinical trial showing that the drug exemestane reduces the chances of breast cancer in high risk women by 65%.

About Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2014

This October, the Canadian Cancer Society encourages Ontarians to take action:

  • Go for screening. If you are 50 and older, talk to your doctor about getting a mammogram.
  • Get support. Get information, rides to treatment appointments, talk to someone who’s going through a similar experience and join our online community.
  • Give generously. Whether it’s with your wallet or your time, you can support the Canadian Cancer Society in your community.

More information is available at

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the only national charity that supports Canadians with all cancers in communities across the country. No other organization does what we do; we are the voice for Canadians who care about cancer. We fund groundbreaking research, provide a support system for all those affected by cancer and advocate to governments for important social change.

Help us make a difference. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit today.

For more information, please contact:

Justin Edmonstone

Public Affairs

Canadian Cancer Society

Ontario Division

Phone: 416-323-7026