Put your breast foot forward when it comes to your health

Canadian Cancer Society Screening Saves Lives Coordinator Jo-Anne Thibodeau Audette at the Manitoulin Senior Expo last month. photo by Robin Burridge

MANITOULIN—October was National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and The Expositor spoke with Jo-Anne Thibodeau Audette of the Canadian Cancer Society about what women should be doing to stay healthy and happy.

“If you are over the age of 50, you should be getting screened every two years if the (mammogram) comes back normal,” said Ms. Thibodeau Audette, Canadian Cancer Society Screening Saves Lives Coordinator. “Those who are under the age of 50 and don’t have a history should still know their breast—know what’s normal—and report anything that isn’t normal to their health care professional. If there is a history of breast cancer in your family you need to talk to your health care professional about your next steps.”

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women and the second leading cause of death from cancer in Canadian women. In 2016 it was estimated that 25,700 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. On average, 70 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every day.

Ms. Thibodeau Audette who resides in Aundeck Omni Kaning, attends a lot of events on Manitoulin promoting early screening for breast cancer. She said that today’s breast cancer incident rates for First Nation’s women are surpassing the rest of the population as many “tend to wait until there is a problem before talking to their doctor. We’re trying to change this and encourage early screening.”

Ms. Thibodeau Audette also promotes screening and early detection for cervical and colon cancer among First Nation communities on Manitoulin Island to increase screening rates for under/never screened communities.