COVID-19 pandemic: decrease in the number of mammograms in Quebec

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COVID-19 pandemic: drop in the number of mammograms in Quebec

The Canadian Cancer Society indicates that approximately 100,000 fewer mammograms than in 2019 were performed as part of the Quebec Breast Cancer Screening Program in 2020.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant decrease in the number of mammograms in Quebec, tests normally carried out every two years in the hope of detecting breast cancer as early as possible.

Data released Wednesday by the Canadian Cancer Society indicate that approximately 100,000 fewer mammograms than in 2019 were performed as part of the Quebec Cancer Screening Program (PQDCS) for the year 2020, a decrease of approximately 29%. In addition, between March and July 2020, the decrease in the number of diagnoses was evaluated at 20% for Quebec.

The Canadian Cancer Society fears that there will consequently be a significant drop in the number of cancers detected within the framework of the PQDCS. Yet statistics suggest that one in eight women in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.

But thanks to early detection, research and improved treatments, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is now 89%.

A radiologist analyzes the results of a mammogram.

Diego Mena, vice-president at the Canadian Cancer Society, points out that mammography remains the most effective means of detecting breast cancer early. He adds that when this cancer is diagnosed and treated early, the chances of successful treatment are better.

This year, the Canadian Cancer Society's Mémo-mamo campaign returns after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mémo-mamo wants to make Quebec women aged 50 to 69 aware of the importance of having a preventive mammogram every 2 years.

The organization also wants to x27; specifically address women from ethnocultural communities who are underrepresented in participation in the early detection program, particularly those who arrived in Quebec less than 10 years ago and are eligible for the PQDCS. Of these, 57% had not participated in the program compared to only 26% of non-immigrant women.

On the other hand, the Canadian Cancer Society reports that& #x27;by adopting healthy lifestyle habits, it is also possible to prevent approximately 28% of breast cancer cases.

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