Three quarters of Canadians feel they have more to learn about breast cancer and how it could affect them: introducing Breast Cancer Canada

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TORONTO, Sept. 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — For more-than 30 years, the Breast Cancer Society of Canada has been the leading organization for breast cancer research. Today, the organization has rebranded to become Breast Cancer Canada, signaling a renewal in their commitment to research-driven change.

With a focus on precision oncology, Breast Cancer Canada continues the fight to raise awareness about the number one diagnosed cancer in the world. Despite the pervasiveness of the disease, Canadians felt unprepared when they, or a loved one, received a breast cancer diagnosis – according to a new national survey by Breast Cancer Canada.

The Know More Breast Cancer Survey, an Angus Reid study of 1508 Canadians, provides insights into the knowledge and understanding of breast cancer, revealing a disconnect between what Canadians know, and the research available.

With pandemic restrictions being lifted, Canadians are left to deal with a backlog of personal medical demands as 50 per cent of people who responded stated they had delayed hospital visits during the pandemic. Additionally, almost 60 per cent of respondents put off routine medical checkups over the past two years – women being more likely than men to do so.

Table: Canadians health habits during the pandemic

Health habits during the pandemic Total Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
I delayed hospital visits during the pandemic 50% 50% 50% 55% 48% 48%
I feel I have 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 any 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 their lifetime, the results from 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 Canadian’s knowledge and awareness of breast cancer and clearly there is an opportunity for Canadians to know more about the disease that affects us all.”

The study shows that 87 per cent of respondents diagnosed with breast cancer felt unprepared when they or a loved one received their diagnosis. One-quarter (26%) of women are not worried about getting breast cancer because it is not common in their families and nearly six-in-10 men (57%) feel that they would lack the knowledge of how to help, or where to look for help, if a woman in their life were diagnosed with breast cancer.

On a positive note, 74 per cent of Canadians trust healthcare professionals to properly identify, diagnose and treat cancer. Additionally, 68 per cent of Canadians feel that their doctors are informed with the best or latest treatment information and 59 per cent of Canadians have experienced the best and latest cancer treatment available, either personally or someone they know.

Table: Knowledge and understanding of breast cancer

Canadians’ knowledge and understanding of breast cancer Total Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
I trust healthcare professionals to properly identify, diagnose and treat cancer 74% 76% 71% 74% 70% 77%
I feel that my doctors are informed with the best or latest treatment information 68% 70% 66% 62% 63% 76%
I or someone I know has experienced the best and latest cancer treatment available 59% 63% 56% 52% 56% 67%


Table: Women’s knowledge of breast cancer

Women’s knowledge of breast cancer Total Female 18-34 35-54 55+
I am not worried about getting 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 put off 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 a loved one was diagnosed with breast cancer, I felt unprepared 87% 87% 100% 79% 84%

“Any cancer diagnosis feels earth-shattering,” said Kimberley Carson, CEO of Breast Cancer Canada. “We are committed to demystifying research and information so that people feel less afraid when they, or a loved one, receives an unexpected diagnosis.”

Increasing our understanding of breast cancer research starts with making information more accessible. Three-quarters of respondents (77%) were unable to even provide an approximate guess when asked how many known types of breast cancer there are, made even more shocking when only one per cent of respondents were able to provide the correct answer of more than 50. The data depicts that although research has been rapidly progressing, general awareness is lacking amongst Canadians.

It is no surprise that diagnosis catches so many off guard, as three-quarters of women responded that they could learn more about breast cancer and how it could affect them. Breast Cancer Canada is funding a new era of research that presents knowledge in a meaningful and fresh way, making lifesaving information both inspiring and accessible.

The more we know about breast cancer, the sooner we can end it
In an effort to remind women of the risks and to elevate the awareness of breast cancer, the organization is launching a provocative, multimedia campaign that showcases the amazing progress that’s been made in breast cancer research.

The “Know more” campaign evokes raw emotion featuring both researchers and patients with messages including “Behind every survivor is a researcher on a mission,” aiming to show the power of research, and the impact of their charity.

For more information, visit www.breastcancerprogress.ca.

About the Know More Breast Cancer Survey by Breast Cancer Canada
From August 10 to August 12, 2022, an online survey was conducted among a representative sample of 1,508 Canadians who are members of the Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes, the sample plan would carry 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 non-profit charity dedicated to saving lives through breast cancer research. With a specific focus on precision oncology (personalized care/medicine) it is the only breast cancer organization in Canada that has a clear mandate to raise money for research. The organization receives no government funding, meaning all research is funded through the generosity of donors. For more information visit, www.breastcancerprogress.ca

Media Contact
Megan Dunscombe
647-972-2373
[email protected]

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f55b5ab4-132e-4f4d-9f90-088b144c7286


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