David O thinks pinkThursday, August 23, 2012 by: Carol Martin
DAVID ORAZIETTI, MP
Orazietti participates in Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation's "Pink Tour"
Travelling tour bus provides information on improvements to Ontario’s Breast Cancer Screening Program
SAULT STE. MARIE - Today, David Orazietti, MPP, joined representatives from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) on the Pink Tour Bus, which stopped in Sault Ste. Marie to provide women and their families with information on breast health and breast screening.
“Last year our government announced the most significant improvements to Ontario's organized breast screening program in its 21-year history and we want to ensure that all women are familiar with the most recent information on breast cancer detection and the screening services available in the province,” said Orazietti. “Today’s event will generate greater awareness of Ontario’s Breast Screening Program and will help increase enrolment in this life-saving early detection program.”
The Pink Tour Bus is stationed at the Shoppers Drugmart at the Cambrian Mall between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. today and is also making stops at CIBC on Queen St. and at the Wellness Center in Garden River before departing for its next stop in Sudbury.
The CBCF’s Pink Tour has 90 scheduled visits to communities throughout Ontario between May to October.
More information on the Pink Tour, including a full bus stop schedule, is available online.
Orazietti has advocated for improvements to provincial regulations regarding breast cancer screening.
In 2009 Orazietti introduced Bill 200, "An Act to Increase Access to Breast Cancer Screening" proposing increased access to breast cancer screening for women under age 50.
In 2010, Orazietti re-introduced the proposed legislation as Bill 56.
In the 2011 Ontario Budget the province included the largest investment and expansion to the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) in more than 20 years which included reducing the age of entry to the OBSP to age 30.
"David Orazietti is the first MPP to bring forward Private Members legislation to improve the OBSP since it was created over twenty years ago," said Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "This expansion makes Ontario the first province in Canada to increase access to an organized breast screening program for high risk women beginning at age thirty. The improvements to the program will save lives and I commend David for his leadership and tireless advocacy in championing these changes."
"We applaud David Orazietti for his committed leadership and for highlighting the importance of breast cancer screening and the need to enhance access to screening for women in Ontario," said Sandra Palmaro, CEO of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation-Ontario Region.
"David Orazietti has been a strong advocate of inclusive breast cancer screening for women in Ontario. Our local team is delighted to have him join us on the Pink Tour, an educational bus tour visiting communities to promote breast health,” said Karey Stewart, Co-Run Director, Sault Ste. Marie CIBC Run for the Cure.
Improvements effective on July 1, 2011 included the creation of a new program under the OBSP designed specifically for women who are at a high-risk of developing breast cancer through genetics or family history.
The plan expands existing programs in order to reach women between the ages of 30 and 49 who have a high risk of developing breast cancer and also increases supports for women aged 50 to 69 who are already eligible for the province's organized screening program.
The province committed $15 million over three years to launch the plan, which is expected to screen an additional 90,000 women.
The expanded program makes Ontario the leading jurisdiction in Canada for breast cancer screening.
The first phase of the OBSP expansion was launched on July 1, 2011 in 19 sites across the province.
Since the expansion of the program, over 7,021 women in Ontario have been referred to, and registered in, the new high risk Ontario Breast Screening program, and almost 1,300 of these women have received screening with mammography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).
Regular screening, combined with greater self-awareness and improvements in treatment, has been shown to save lives.
The mortality rate for breast cancer has dropped by almost 40 percent since the late 1980s, when organized screening began in Canada.
Only 66 percent of eligible women (ages 50 to 69) currently participate in regular screening in Ontario.
To date, the OBSP has provided over 3.6 million screens and detected more than 19,000 cancers, the majority in the early stages.
The CBCF’s Pink Tour Bus has been on the road since 2009. Since that time, the bus has welcomed over 34,000 visitors and helped increase participation in breast screening programs