Aboriginal women targeted for breast cancer screenings

Aboriginal women across the province need more encouragement to get regular mammograms and screenings, according to Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia.

Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia says test are low off reserve

Breast cancer is the leading type of cancer and cause of cancer deaths in women worldwide. Nearly 1.4 million new cases are diagnosed each year. (CBC)

Aboriginal women across the province need more encouragement to get regular mammograms and screenings, according to Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia.

The organization’s executive director, Barbara Thompson, said she wants to see breast health information that speaks to aboriginal people.

“When we did the research we realized there was nothing out there for them on this subject and our whole approach as a provincial group is that every woman in the province, regardless of what culture they are part of, should have access to information, breast health information,” she said.

One of the group’s studies showed that test rates for women who live off reserves were particularly low. The National Aboriginal Health Organization has also reported that breast cancer among aboriginal people is on the rise.

“The women who are off reserve, if they are out of their social circles their support circles they are the ones that really need the support,” said Thompson.

Debbie Eisan of the Halifax Aboriginal Peoples Network agrees with the need to target aboriginal women.

“We need to be strong in order to look after our families.  Without this screening done, we won't be strong,” she said.

Thompson said her group is reaching out through social media and community newspapers to urge aboriginal women to get tested.

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