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This June, WHCC is highlighting the concerning rise of early-onset breast cancer, which defined as breast cancer diagnosed in women under the age of 45.

According to a new study published in April the Canadian Association of Radiologists Journal (CARJ), between 1984 and 2019, there was a 45.5-per-cent increase in breast cancer incidence among women in their twenties. For women in their thirties, there was a 12.5 per-cent increase over the same period.

Research shows that both genetic predispositions and lifestyle factors contribute to a woman’s risk of having breast cancer, but further investigation is needed to fully understand the causes and risk factors behind the recent increase.

Some potential lifestyle causes have been identified and include lifestyle factors such as increased consumption of processed foods, alcohol, and less exercise, according to Dr. Shuji Ogino who was quoted in a Globe and Mail article about the trend.

Interestingly, according to the CARJ article, the fact that many women are delaying or opting out of having children may be at play, as hormone changes during and after pregnancy may lower the risk of breast cancer.

This research is critical as it informs of the risks and presentations of breast cancer among women of all ages, improves early detection and lowers mortality rates.

Another study from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found that “nearly 7 in 10 premature cancer deaths in women could have been prevented through early detection and intervention.” This means that in Canada alone, thousands of deaths could be avoided.

Research like this, and other projects being conducted at WHCC-associated institutes such as the Allard Hereditary Breast & Ovarian Cancer Clinic at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women in Edmonton is advancing our understanding of the disease and its causes.

At the same time, programs like Every Breast Counts at Women’s College Hospital are crucial in raising awareness and promoting early detection.


Happy Pride from WHCC

This Pride Month, we celebrate the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and recognize the need for health research to expand its horizons and agendas to reflect the reality of sexual and gender diversity. WHCC is committed to inclusion and strives to create a supportive environment for all —regardless of sexual orientation or gender.

One example of how research agendas are taking an inclusive approach is Beyond the Binary Canada, a national resource launching October 16.

Beyond the Binary Canada aims to integrate gender inclusive and equitable practices into women’s health research, benefitting people across the gender spectrum by fostering partnerships, creating dialogue, and advancing knowledge.

Keep an eye out for the national launch of the program, and sign up for the October 16 launch event here.


Shoppers Drug Mart® Run for Women

The Shoppers Drug Mart® Run for Women is the largest event series in Canada dedicated to women’s mental health. With 5K and 10K run/walk events hosted in 18 Canadian communities nationwide, this event series has raised over $20 million for women’s mental health programs across the country.

A portion of proceeds from the events will be donated to WHCC member Foundations across Canada to support cutting-edge mental health research. Thank you to Shoppers Drug Mart®!

For more information on how to participate or donate, visit the Run for Women website.


Between Us: An Interactive Talk on Painful Sex

On Thursday, May 30, the Lois Hole Hospital Women’s Society, in collaboration with Alberta Blue Cross, hosted an interactive session titled “Between Us: An Interactive Talk on Painful Sex”.

The May session of Between Us aimed to help women find more pleasure in their sex lives by discussing myths, mysteries, and misconceptions around painful sex and potential health-related conditions, empowering individuals to better manage their sexual experiences.

The talk featured a panel of four physicians from the Urogynecology Wellness Clinic at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women: Dr. Annick Poirier, Dr. Lana Myroniuk, Dr. Erin Kelly, and Dr. May Sanaee.

Find the full video on the Lois Hole Hospital Women’s Society YouTube page.

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