Barriers to Breast Cancer Screening Removed

St. Paul’s L’Amoreaux Centre has received a two-year grant from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation to provide breast cancer awareness, prevention, and early detection workshops in Scarborough.

The goal of the Scarborough Breast Health Community Action Project is to increase participation in breast cancer prevention and screening among immigrant and low income women from the Chinese, English, Somali, Tamil and Urdu speaking communities in Scarborough. Multicultural peer leaders, a critical feature of the project, are hired, trained, and mentored to conduct culturally-sensitive and language-appropriate outreach on breast cancer prevention information. Gina Ing, a registered nurse with Toronto Public Health and peer leader trainer for the project explains, “Peer leaders know their communities better and can customize and adapt information.  As well, they have continuous contact with the people, which allows for the provision of ongoing support for early detection and screening for breast health."

St. Paul's achieved success in 2006 with its first breast cancer outreach project, also funded by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and hopes to surpass previous goals. “We are excited to be partnering again with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation to provide women in Scarborough with the knowledge and screening they need to reduce the impacts of this disease,” said Larry Burke, Executive Director of St. Paul’s L’Amoreaux Centre. The sentiment was echoed by Sharon Wood, CEO of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation-Ontario Region. "The Foundation is proud to fund initiatives that will support Scarborough's diverse communities with the information they need to take action for better breast health," Wood said. "This project will enable women from a broad range of ethno-cultural and linguistic backgrounds to access reliable and relevant information about breast health and breast cancer."

The grant comes at a critical time. According to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, an estimated 22,300 women in Canada were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. Statistically, one in nine (11%) Canadian women is expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime, while less than 1% of Canadian men will be diagnosed with breast cancer. It’s important to remember that the chance of getting breast cancer increases with age, especially after age 50, which makes targeting this population essential to early detection and treatment. When breast cancer is detected and treated early, there is a good chance it can be cured.

The Scarborough Breast Health Community Action Project is initiated by St. Paul's L'Amoreaux Centre in collaboration with Agincourt Community Services Association, Toronto Public Health, Immigrant Women's Health Centre, Quantum Medical Imaging Services, & West Hill Community Services. This project is funded by Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Ontario Chapters for a period of two years (Nov 2007 - Oct 2009).

For more information, please contact:

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation site at

Michele Cauch, St. Paul’s L’Amoreaux Centre, Planning and Policy Development Officer, 416-493-3333 ext 271.