TORONTO, Sept. 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — For more than 30 years, the Breast Cancer Society of Canada was the leading breast cancer research organization. Today, the organization has changed its name to become Breast Cancer Canadasignaling a renewed commitment to research-driven change.
With a focus on precision oncology, Breast Cancer Canada continues its fight to raise awareness for the most diagnosed cancer in the world. Despite the pervasiveness of the disease, Canadians felt unprepared when they or a loved one was diagnosed with breast cancer, according to a new national survey from Breast Cancer Canada.
The KNopew No more breast cancer investigationAn Angus Reid study of 1,508 Canadians provides insight into knowledge and understanding of breast cancer, revealing a disconnect between what Canadians know and available research.
With the lifting of pandemic restrictions, Canadians are facing a backlog of personal medical requests, as 50% of those who responded said they had delayed hospital visits during the pandemic. Additionally, nearly 60% of respondents have postponed routine medical checkups in the past two years, with women more likely than men to do so.
Table: Health habits of Canadians during the pandemic
|Health habits during the pandemic||Total||Man||Female||18-34||35-54||55+|
|I delayed hospital visits during the pandemic||50%||50%||50%||55%||48%||48%|
|I feel like I’ve lost ground with my health due to diagnostic delays during the pandemic||37%||36%||38%||43%||39%||32%|
|I neglected urgent medical needs because of the pandemic||26%||25%||27%||32%||27%||20%|
|I seek a second opinion when I receive a diagnosis||37%||39%||36%||43%||38%||33%|
|I neglected routine medical checkups during the pandemic||59%||57%||61%||68%||59%||52%|
“Given that one in eight women in Canada will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, the results of our Angus Reid poll were shocking to see,” said Kimberly Carson, CEO of Breast Cancer Canada. “We conducted this survey to get a benchmark of Canadians’ knowledge and awareness of breast cancer and it’s clear that there is an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about the disease that affects us all.
The study shows that 87% of respondents who were diagnosed with breast cancer felt unprepared when they or a loved one received their diagnosis. A quarter (26%) of women are not worried about having breast cancer because it is not common in their family and almost six in 10 men (57%) believe they would not know how help or where to seek help, should a woman in their life be diagnosed with breast cancer.
On a positive note, 74% of Canadians trust healthcare professionals to identify, diagnose and treat cancer correctly. Additionally, 68 per cent of Canadians believe their doctors are informed about the best or latest treatment information and 59 per cent of Canadians have received the best and latest cancer treatments available, personally or through someone that they know.
Table: Knowledge and understanding of breast cancer
|Breast cancer knowledge and understanding of Canadians||Total||Man||Female||18-34||35-54||55+|
|I trust healthcare professionals to correctly identify, diagnose and treat cancer||74%||76%||71%||74%||70%||77%|
|I feel like my doctors are up to date with the best or latest treatment information||68%||70%||66%||62%||63%||76%|
|Me or someone I know has experienced the best and newest cancer treatment available||59%||63%||56%||52%||56%||67%|
Table: Women’s knowledge of breast cancer
|Knowledge of women about breast cancer||Total||Female||18-34||35-54||55+|
|I am not worried about having breast cancer because it is not common in my family||26%||26%||30%||27%||22%|
|I have a family history of breast cancer||31%||31%||34%||30%||28%|
|I postpone mammograms because of fear or uncertainty||13%||13%||—||17%||11%|
|I don’t think routine mammograms are necessary||15%||15%||—||13%||16%|
|When I or someone close to me was diagnosed with breast cancer, I felt unprepared.||87%||87%||100%||79%||84%|
“Any cancer diagnosis is heartbreaking,” said Kimberley Carson, CEO of Breast Cancer Canada. “We are committed to demystifying research and information so that people are less afraid when they or a loved one receives an unexpected diagnosis.”
Increasing our understanding of breast cancer research begins with making information more accessible. Three quarters of respondents (77%) could not even provide a rough estimate when asked how many known types of breast cancer there are, which is even more shocking when only 1% of respondents were able to provide the correct answer out of more than 50. Data shows that while research is advancing rapidly, general awareness is lacking among Canadians.
It’s no surprise that the diagnosis took so many by surprise, since three-quarters of women responded that they could learn more about breast cancer and how it might affect them. Breast Cancer Canada funds a new era of research that presents knowledge in a meaningful and new way, making vital information both inspiring and accessible.
The more we know about breast cancer, the sooner we can end it
To remind women of the risks and raise awareness of breast cancer, the organization is launching a provocative multimedia campaign that highlights the incredible advances being made in breast cancer research.
The KNopew more” evokes raw emotion featuring both researchers and patients with messages such as “Behind every survivor is a researcher on a mission”, aiming to show the power of research and the impact of their action charity.
For more information, visit www.breastcancerprogress.ca.
About Breast Cancer Canada’s Learn About Breast Cancer Survey
From August 10-12, 2022, an online survey was conducted with a representative sample of 1,508 Canadian Angus Reid Forum members. For comparison purposes, the sample design would include a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
About Breast Cancer Canada
Breast Cancer Canada (formerly the Breast Cancer Society of Canada) is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to saving lives through breast cancer research. With a particular focus on precision oncology (personalized care/medicine), it is the only breast cancer organization in Canada with a clear mandate to raise funds for research. The organization receives no government funding, which means that all research is funded through the generosity of donors. For more information visit, www.breastcancerprogress.ca
A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f55b5ab4-132e-4f4d-9f90-088b144c7286