Women want the whole pic­ture

e pledge to pro­vide breast den­sity in­for­ma­tion with mam­mo­grams

Truro Daily News - - Classifieds/ Maritime Life - BY STU NEATBY Stu.neatby@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/stu_neatby

Kathy Kau eld has notched an­other vic­tory.

e for­mer Strat­ford, P.E.I. res­i­dent started a so­cial me­dia cam­paign, #Tellme, to press po­lit­i­cal lead­ers to pro­vide women with in­for­ma­tion about their breast den­sity af­ter re­ceiv­ing mam­mo­grams.

Af­ter the lead­ers of New Brunswick’s Lib­eral and Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive Par­ties both adopted the idea in the midst of that prov­ince’s elec­tion cam­paign, Health P.E.I. an­nounced it will also move to­wards pro­vid­ing the in­for­ma­tion as a stan­dard prac­tice.

On Satur­day, Nova Sco­tia Premier Stephen Mcneil said in a tweet that his gov­ern­ment would also look into the idea.

“Way to go P.E.I.,” Kau eld said, reached by phone at her home in New Brunswick on Tues­day.

Kau eld started the cam­paign af­ter a mam­mo­gram screen­ing missed a can­cer growth on her breast sev­eral years ago. Five months later, she dis­cov­ered a tu­mour.

Tu­mours on dense breasts can be missed be­cause both ap­pear white on mam­mo­grams. e or­ga­ni­za­tion Dense Breasts Canada es­ti­mates 43 per cent of women aged 40 to 74 have dense breasts.

Af­ter com­plet­ing treat­ment two years ago, Kau eld be­gan writ­ing to the premier and the health min­is­ter in New Brunswick.

But, af­ter run­ning into a friend dur­ing a rou­tine mam­mo­gram check-up ap­point­ment, she de­cided that more needed to be done to in­form women about breast den­sity in­for­ma­tion.

“She had a lump that was big­ger than mine, and mine was the size

of a golf ball. And the only rea­son she was check­ing her breast is be­cause I ha­rangue my friends about it,” Kau eld said.

“It just hit me when I saw my friend there. I thought ‘I’ve got to do some­thing about this.’ “

Kau eld, who has worked at the Tele­graph-jour­nal, e Guardian and the East­ern Graphic, set up a web­site and es­tab­lished a sim­ple but e ec­tive do-it-your­self on­line cam­paign. She be­gan tweet­ing po­lit­i­cal can­di­dates three weeks ago and en­cour­aged women to email and tweet their pic­tures to Lib­eral Leader Brian Gal­lant and Tory Leader Blaine Higgs.

She pro­duced a sim­ple one­minute video fea­tur­ing the pho­tos of many of th­ese women and be­gan cir­cu­lat­ing it on Face­book. To date it has been viewed 18,000 times.

“It cre­ated a bit of buzz,” Kau eld said. “ e politi­cians are on Twit­ter. So, if you want to reach them, that’s kind of the place to be. If you want to reach women my age that re­ally care about this is­sue, it’s on Face­book.”

ings moved quickly. By the end of last week, on Fri­day, both Gal­lant and Higgs an­nounced their plat­forms would in­clude a pol­icy of pro­vid­ing breast den­sity in­for­ma­tion along with mam­mo­gram screen­ings.

On Satur­day morn­ing, Nova Sco­tia Premier Stephen McNeil had tweeted his sup­port. By 10:23 a.m. on Mon­day, P.E.I. PC Leader James Ayl­ward re­leased a state­ment on Twit­ter call­ing for the prac­tice to be adopted on P.E.I. Fewer than two hours later, Health P.E.I. is­sued a tweet stat­ing it would be adopt­ing the prac­tice.

In a state­ment to the Guardian, Health P.E.I. said the prov­ince had be­gun to “look into the topic of pro­vid­ing breast den­sity in­for­ma­tion” dur­ing the past sev­eral months. Kau­field hopes other prov­inces take note as well.

“Maybe the pre­miers can talk amongst them­selves and get this all looked af­ter pretty quick,” she said.


Kathy Kau eld, sec­ond from the right, dis­plays a cake baked by vol­un­teers in­volved with the #Tellme cam­paign. Kau eld, who lives in New Brunswick and is orig­i­nally from Strat­ford, P.E.I., started the cam­paign to raise aware­ness about how mam­mo­grams can miss tu­mours from women with dense breasts.

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