Knowledge of breast density can save lives says Adams

September 21, 2018 at 10:39 am

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Cole Harbour- Eastern Passage MLA Barbara Adams says Nova Scotia needs to use all tools available to detect breast cancer earlier.

Today in the Nova Scotia Legislature, Adams introduced the Mandatory Breast Density Reporting Act. This Bill requires radiologists to report breast density to a woman or a family doctor of a woman who has undergone a mammography. High breast density is a risk factor for cancer. The earlier cancer is detected, the higher the likelihood of survival.

“If I knew I was at a higher risk of cancer and a test I am already doing could tell me that, why wouldn’t I want to know?” says Adams. “If early detection means we can save lives then it’s this government’s obligation to ensure that we do everything in our power to see it done.”

Currently, Nova Scotia is one of three Canadian provinces without some sort of proactive reporting by radiologists. Every mammography machine in Nova Scotia is equipped to measure breast density accurately. The information is available and should be shared.

Registered nurse Janet Landry says early diagnosis can be the difference between life and death.

“Early diagnosis can mean everything to women with breast cancer,” says Landry who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in December 2017. “If we can do something to provide women with advanced warning- we have to do it.”

According to the US National Institute, breast density is recognized as one of the strongest risk factors associated with the development of breast cancer.

Rhonda Vickers says this bill would mean so much to people like her who have survived breast cancer and have committed their lives to spreading awareness around getting tested.

“I try not to live in the past and wonder, “what if?”” says Vickers. “But knowing women going forward can be warned earlier would mean so much to those fighting and those who have survived this terrible disease.”

The bill can be found on the Nova Scotia Legislature website.