On March 28, the Canadian Cancer Society’s Sirf Dus initiative partnered with the BC Cancer Agency’s Screening Mammography Program to provide free mobile mammography services to 51 South Asian women.
Screening took place at the Indo Canadian Seniors Centre, near Guru Nanak Sikh Temple.
Forty-one per cent of the women had never been screened.
Sirf Dus promotes mammography in to the South Asian community, which has lower mammography screening rates compared to the general B.C. population.
Sirf Dus translates to both “Only Ten” and “Just Tell” in Punjabi.
The initiative asks South Asian women to:
• Take 10 minutes to talk about the importance of the mammography exam and early detection;
• Take 10 minutes to go for mammography screening; and
• Tell 10 friends about the importance of mammography screening.
The day marked the society’s 75th anniversary.
During the society’s early years in the 1940s, the cancer survival rate was about 25 per cent. Today, the survival rate for breast cancer specifically is 88 per cent, which is why regular screening and early detection are so important.
The society recommends that women who are 50–69 years of age should have screening mammography every two years. Women between the ages of 40 and 49 should discuss their risk of breast cancer, along with the benefits and risks of mammography, with their doctor.
Women 70 years of age or older should talk to their doctor about a screening program that would be appropriate for them.