This year, kawarthaNOW is a Gold Media Sponsor for Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival, so one of the things we have done is create a special section for the festival — our first-ever dedicated editorial section.
The special section contains photos and stories about the festival, including a profile of this year’s co-chairs Carol Mutton and Michelle Thornton as well as the host organization for the festival (Survivors Abreast), the origin of the festival’s annual flower ceremony, what the top fundraising team can expect at this year’s bigger and better “Dragon’s Lair” (hint: a butler), the schedule for race day, how to sponsor a paddler or team, and more.
We’ve also included a couple of stories about how the funds raised at the 2017 Peterborough’s Dragon Boat Festival will be used: for new state-of-the-art mammography equipment at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC). Through the PRHC Foundation, community donations will enable the hospital’s Breast Assessment Centre to purchase three 3D-capable digital mammography units to take breast screening into the future — right here in Peterborough.
Better screening technology is so important, because one in nine women will get breast cancer and we all live with that fear. And women with dense breast tissue, who are at increased risk for breast cancer, will benefit even more from the new technology.
And that’s where it becomes personal for me. I have dense breast tissue and I also have breast cancer in my family (my niece is a survivor and had a mastectomy at the age of 29). In consultation with my doctor, I opt for annual screening under the Ontario Breast Screening Program.
It’s already very stressful waiting for the results because, for women with dense breast tissue, traditional mammograms don’t have the resolution to distinguish visual artifacts from actual cancerous tissue. I’ve been called back for ultrasounds more than once when something unusual was detected, resulting in even more stress. Fortunately, so far, every time I’ve been tested the results have been negative.
I know my stress is nothing compared to what women go through when they receive a positive diagnosis of breast cancer, but the fact is the newest technology can make this stress a thing of the past.
The new 3D-capable digital mammography units have better resolution, reducing the number of false positives. Not only does this reduce the anxiety of women and their families caused by unnecessary call-backs, but it also improves detection accuracy — and early detection of breast cancer saves lives.
“The Ontario Breast Screening Program does a terrific job of ensuring women are screened for breast cancer,” says Dr. Rola Shaheen, Chief of Radiology and Medical Director of Diagnostic Imaging at PRHC. “But we have to do more.”
And that’s what PRHC is doing by purchasing the three new mammography units. Please visit our special editional section to find out more about the festival and how the funds raised there will be used.
And please, if you can, sponsor a paddler or a team at this year’s festival. We have all the teams listed and you can just click to sponsor them!