The Canadian Cancer Society wants to save more lives with its Thingamaboob

23 November 2013

Montreal -

The Canadian Cancer Society

wants to save more lives with its Thingamaboob

Montreal, November 23, 2013 — The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) this morning unveiled its new comedy video clip in which Lise Dion, spokesperson for a fifth consecutive edition, promotes the Thingamaboob, a key chain that reminds women of the importance of getting a mammogram. The CCS emphasizes early detection because the earlier cancer is found, the greater the chances of successful treatment and the more lives saved.

From November 23 to December 23, 2013, the Jean Coutu pharmacy network in Quebec will support the CCS and sell the Thingamaboob for $5 apiece at the prescription counter. All the proceeds from the sale will go to the CCS. The key chain will also be available in the CCS’s regional offices.

“Women aged 50 to 69 are invited to get a free screening mammogram every two years. However, of a million women eligible for the Quebec Breast Cancer Screening Program (PQDCS), 400,000 do not get a mammogram,” says Lise Dion, spokesperson for the CCS’s Thingamaboob. “I would like to tell women not to hesitate to get a mammogram because this test is the most reliable method to detect breast cancer. It can save a life!”

Through the Web, Lise Dion will once again this year encourage women to make an appointment for a mammography. Last year, a video starring Lise Dion and company – her sister-in-law, cousin, neighbour, and grandmother – was viewed more than 300,000 times. A viral success that the CCS would like to repeat this year, with a second clip in which the comedian waits for the same women in a mammography clinic. Written once again by Marc Brunet in collaboration with Lise Dion and directed by Ricardo Trogi, the two and a half-minute video clip looks at the excuses women make to not get their mammogram.

A gift for the holiday season that could save a life!

Just in time for the holiday season, the Thingamaboob has had a beautiful remake and now comes in pearly yellow with a more chic finish. Perfect as a Christmas gift.

“The Thingamaboob unequivocally demonstrates the power of mammograms. Even if it is important for women to know their body and be attentive to the slightest change, this key chain clearly illustrates the limits of what a woman can find on her own through a breast self-examination,” says Suzanne Dubois, Executive Director, CCS – Quebec Division.

With its different-sized beads, the CCS’s Thingamaboob is an original educational tool that shows the effectiveness of mammography as a screening method for breast cancer. The bigger beads, which are the size of a quarter and a dime, represent the lumps generally detected by women on their own or by a healthcare professional during a physical exam. The smallest beads represent the type of lesions that can be found through mammograms and these can be as small as a pinhead. To date, more than 100,000 Thingamaboobs have been sold. The 2013 Thingamaboob campaign is sponsored by Aveeno. Information:

Every day, the Canadian Cancer Society works to save more lives. We have been relentless in our commitment to prevent cancer, fund research, and support people touched by the disease. For 75 years, our goal has remained unchanged: do more so that fewer of us have to face cancer and more survive. Let’s save more lives: visit or call our Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.


André Beaulieu, Spokesperson and Senior Advisor, Public Relations

Canadian Cancer Society – Quebec Division 514 393-3444



Factsheet – November 2013


The Canadian Cancer Society’s Thingamaboob

Breast cancer in brief:

  • Eight out of ten breast cancers affect women who are aged 50 and above.
  • One in nine women are at risk of getting breast cancer in their lifetime.
  • In women, is the most common and the second most fatal cancer after lung cancer. In 2013, 6,000 women in Quebec (23,800 in Canada) will be diagnosed with breast cancer; some 1,350 women in Quebec (5,000 in Canada) will die as a result of the disease.
  • Breast cancer mortality has fallen by 40% over the course of the past 25 years and this is partly because of the early detection of the disease.
    • The five-year breast cancer survival rate is around 88%. This rate jumps to nearly 100% when the tumour is detected at the onset of the disease (stage 1).


The benefits of joining the Quebec Breast Cancer Screening Program (PQDCS)

  • In Quebec, women aged between 50 and 69 receive a letter offering them the possibility of taking part in the Quebec Breast Cancer Screening Program (PQDCS). As part of this program, they are invited to get a free screening mammogram (breast X-ray) once every two years between the ages of 50 and 69. A letter is sent out when it is time to get another mammogram.
  • All the women who participate receive a copy of their report at home. A coordination centre makes sure that each woman’s doctor receives the results of the mammography and that additional tests are prescribed if the radiologist finds that necessary.
  • Women who do not have a family doctor can get a mammogram by using the letter as a prescription and they are automatically sent to a doctor if their mammogram is abnormal.
  • It must be noted that an abnormal mammogram does not necessarily mean cancer. In 95% of the cases, being sent for additional tests is normal.
  • The Quebec Breast Cancer Screening Program (PQDCS)-designated screening centres are subject to rigorous quality standards.

Organized screening enables women:

  • To reduce their risk of dying from breast cancer: for every 1,000 women who participate in the screening, seven women who could have died from breast cancer are saved.
  • To be aware of the state of their breast health through a reliable test.
  • To reduce the risk of undergoing chemotherapy: with screening, fewer cancers are detected at an advanced stage. So, these cancers can be treated without the necessity of chemotherapy.



André Beaulieu, Spokesperson and Senior Advisor, Public Relations

Canadian Cancer Society – Quebec Division 514 393-3444