Stylists, Salons Are A 'Breast Friend'

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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When women go to their hair salon in April, they may end up talking to their stylist about breast cancer prevention.

The County of Lambton Community Health Services Department and nine other area public health units are working with randomly-selected hair salons on the ‘Be a Breast Friend’ pilot project that is designed to raise awareness about the importance of breast health.

“Stylists and salons are an integral part of the project. Salons are places where women have time to talk and socialize with their stylist, and stylists are trusted and clients listen to them,” says Marnie Garrett, Public Health Nurse with the Community Health Services Department. “Stylists will encourage women aged 50-plus to call the Ontario Breast Screening Program to book a mammogram as well as provide interested clients with a ‘Be a Breast Friend’ information package.”

The risk for breast cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Ontario women, increases for those aged 50 years-plus. Early detection improves treatment options and survival rates.

“A mammogram is a breast x-ray that can find changes in the breast even when the changes are too small to feel. However, many women fail to have regular mammograms,” added Garrett. “Only 60% of Ontario women, aged 50-to-69, have regular screenings through the Ontario Breast Screening Program or other screening clinics.”

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What Every Woman Should Know

• Know your breasts - how they normally look and feel. Talk to a doctor or nurse practitioner about any changes.

• Ask a doctor or nurse practitioner to examine your breasts every 1-2 years.

• If you are between the ages of 40-49 years, talk with a doctor or nurse practitioner about your needs for a mammogram.

• Women aged 50-plus should have a mammogram at least every two years. Women can book their appointment by calling 519 464-4515. No doctor’s referral is needed and it’s FREE.

• Reduce your risk of breast cancer. Maintain a healthy weight, eat well, be active, limit alcohol, live smoke-free and be screened.

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