Liberal Bill Would Make Nova Scotia a National Leader in Breast Cancer Screening
October 19, 2023 – (Halifax, NS)
Women with dense breasts are more at risk for breast cancer, and access to supplementary screening could help catch cancer earlier and deliver better outcomes for those battling the disease.
An Act to Expand Breast Screenings for High Breast Density Patients will ensure that all patients diagnosed with category C or D breast density are provided with a referral to receive an examination by ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging within six months of their mammogram.
The Act was tabled virtually by Rafah DiCostanzo, MLA for Clayton Park West, who is enduring her own battle with breast cancer. “We must do more to ensure women in Nova Scotia with dense breasts are getting access to appropriate screening to help improve their outcomes,” said DiCostanzo. “I have long been an advocate for this issue and I’m very proud to be able to table this groundbreaking bill today.”
Jennie Dale, executive director of Dense Breasts Canada, applauds the Act. “I am thrilled to see the introduction of this critical bill for screening ultrasound in women with dense breasts that would make Nova Scotia a national leader in breast cancer screening,” said Dale. “It's a huge step toward ensuring early detection of breast cancer and improved outcomes. Ultrasounds can find cancers earlier in dense breasts, when they are small and have not spread to the nodes, giving women a better chance at avoiding chemotherapy and mastectomy and a better chance at survival.”
The Act builds on a policy change in 2019 made by the former Liberal government that made Nova Scotia the first province in Canada to use a software that assesses breast density and automatically shares results on a woman’s mammogram report.