Ell urges year-round breast cancer awareness for Nunavummiut

Breast Cancer Awareness month officially ends Oct. 31


As October — Breast Cancer Awareness Month — came to an end, Monica Ell, Nunavut’s minister responsible for the Status of Women, said Oct. 31 in the Nunavut legislature that all Nunavummiut “should be aware of the signs of breast cancer every month.”

“Early detection and prevention is so important in the battle against breast cancer. I urge all women to self-examine themselves every month. If you are not sure how, ask your Community Health nurse or [attend] a Well Woman clinic,” Ell said.

Breast cancer rates in Nunavut may be low, but it is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in Canadian women, Ell said in her minister’s statement.

In 2012, the Canadian Cancer Society estimates that 22,700 women in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer and that 5,100 women will die from the disease.

“However, this disease also affects men and we should not forget that,” she said.

Ell urged her fellow MLAs “to celebrate breast cancer survivors and honour those who have lost their lives to breast cancer, those who are now battling this disease, the families and all those affected.”

“We can do this by spreading the word of the importance of prevention and early detection, she said. “Remember, in my view, every month should be Breast Cancer Awareness month and we are all at risk. So minimize your risks and think about quitting smoking [one of the risk factors in cancer] as my one of old teachers would say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cures.”

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