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About Women to Women

A movement of women taking action in the fight against breast cancer. The Canadian Cancer Society’s Women to Women campaign mobilizes women to educate other women about breast cancer screening and to raise funds to support breast cancer research.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women. Getting checked by having regular mammograms is the most reliable way to find breast cancer early when it’s most treatable. Mammograms save lives. Help spread the message.

Get Involved. Join the Women to Women movement by becoming an Ambassador.

We’ve also got plenty of resources to help you find out more about breast cancer screening in Ontario and guidelines for who should get mammograms and how often.

Being a Women to Women Ambassador

Women to Women is about empowering women to take their health into their own hands and get checked for breast cancer. It’s not a big commitment in total, it’s just a few hours of your time but the impact is significant.

Your role as an Ambassador

Act:
Lead by example. Make sure you get a mammogram every two years if you are aged 50-69.

Share:
Encourage the women in your life to learn more about breast cancer screening and get tested themselves.

  • Brief 3-minute conversations with 10 women
    Sharing involves educating 10 women in your life through brief 3-minute face-to-face conversations. During the conversations you will use a neat educational tool called the Thingamaboob to illustrate how important mammograms are in detecting breast cancer early, when it’s more treatable. After the conversation to help reinforce the message, you will give a Thingamaboob to the person you have person you have educated.

    Once you register, we will send you 11 Thingamaboobs, one for yourself, and 10 for the women you educate. We will also provide you with online resources and information so you feel prepared; know what to say and feel comfortable answering questions.

    That’s 3 minutes x 10 friends for a total of 30 minutes of your time to help spread the word that mammograms save lives!

  • Social sharing
    You can also spread the word to your online social networks. To make things easy, we have developed customizable email, Facebook and Twitter posts that you can share. These are accessible to Ambassadors once you register.

Fundraise:
Online fundraising is also an option. You can encourage your family and friends to support your efforts and make a donation to Canadian Cancer Society funded breast cancer research. Online resources with tips and advice will be available to help you.

Learn more about how breast cancer research makes a difference in the fight against cancer.

Tracking conversations
The Canadian Cancer Society wants to demonstrate the impact Women to Women is having, so you are asked to track the number of people you educate. This tracking takes 5 minutes a week using a simple online tool on the Women to Women website, but it’s important because keeping track also helps motivate other Ambassadors to keep educating.

That’s it!
As you can see, being an Ambassador is simple, but through education we can really make a difference.

Register today to join the movement and take action!

Please note, you must be a resident of Ontario to become a Women to Women Ambassador.

Mammogram Benefits & Screening Guidelines

Why regular mammograms are so important

Mammography is the most reliable method of finding breast cancer and research has shown that women who have mammograms regularly are less likely to have a false positive (when the test results suggest cancer, but none is actually present). Also, if you do have cancer, it is more likely to be detected when you have mammograms regularly.

No screening test is 100% accurate, but the scientific evidence tells us that having mammograms lead to a decrease in death rates in women with cancer.

Benefits

  • Better survival rates - In most cases, the earlier a cancer is detected, the better your chance of survival. Research has shown that women who have regular mammograms are more likely to survive breast cancer.
  • Better quality of life - Early detection may also mean less treatment and less time spent recovering. Research has proven that breast cancer detected in women who have regular mammograms are on average smaller and more treatable

Guidelines
The Canadian Cancer Society recommends the following breast cancer screening guidelines.

 

If you are:  
40 to 49 Talk to your doctor about your risk of breast cancer, along with the benefits and risks of mammography.
50 to 69
  • Have a mammogram every 2 years. This can be done in two simple ways:
    • Getting a referral from a doctor, or
    • Calling the Ontario Breast Screening Program directly at 1-800-668-9304 to make an appointment.
70 or older Talk to your doctor about how often you should be tested for breast cancer.

 

Women at average risk of developing breast cancer, age 50 and over
Evidence shows that regular mammograms for women who are at average risk and 50 years or older, are the most effective way to detect breast cancer early. Average risk means you have no other risk factors other than being a woman and being older (i.e. 50 and over).

Women at high risk of developing breast cancer, age 30 to 69
In Ontario, women aged 30 to 69 who are at high risk for breast cancer due to genetic factors or a personal or family history suggestive of hereditary breast cancer can receive an annual breast screening MRI and mammogram through the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP). Women in this group will need a referral from their doctor or nurse practitioner to book for these screening services.

For more information about breast health and breast screening call the Canadian Cancer Society’s Cancer Information Service toll-free at 1 888 939-3333 or email info@cis.cancer.ca

About the Thingamaboob

To clearly illustrate how important regular mammograms are in detecting breast cancer, the Canadian Cancer Society designed a tool called the Thingamaboob.

Thingamaboob

The largest bead shows the size of a lump that can be felt by checking your own breasts. The next smallest shows what might be found through a physical exam by a doctor. The next is what would be detected through a first mammogram. The smallest bead is what would be detected when having regular mammograms.

The Thingamaboob is used by Women to Women Ambassadors and Canadian Cancer Society volunteers to educate women across Ontario that mammograms saves lives.

How to Get a Mammogram

In Ontario, there are two ways of getting a mammogram once you’re 50 years old and at average risk.

1. You can get a referral from your healthcare professional

2. You can call the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) at 1 800-668-9304 to make an appointment.

First established in 1990, the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) is a high quality breast cancer screening service for women living in Ontario. It is operated by Cancer Care Ontario and funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

The OBSP currently accepts women who fall into the following two categories:

Women at average risk of developing breast cancer, age 50 and over
Evidence shows that regular mammograms for women who are at average risk and 50 years or older, are the most effective way to detect breast cancer early. Average risk means you have no other risk factors other than being a woman and being older (i.e. 50 and over).

Women at high risk of developing breast cancer, age 30 to 69
In Ontario, women aged 30 to 69 who are at high risk for breast cancer due to genetic factors or a personal or family history suggestive of hereditary breast cancer can receive an annual breast screening MRI and mammogram through the OBSP. Women in this group will need a referral from their doctor or nurse practitioner to book for these screening services.

To learn more about the OBSP and its newly expanded services for women at high risk aged 30 to 69, visit www.ontario.ca/screenforlife