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  • The Low Down

Mammogram wait times more than 30 weeks in Hills

By Anna Robertson and Hannah Sabourin

Imagine the terror of finding a lump in your breast. Perhaps for the first time, you confront cancer as a real possibility in your life. Fear and panic are normal responses to such an event. Now imagine, in that state of stress, having to wait more than 30 weeks for testing and results.

That is the situation facing many women in the Outaouais — one in eight who will have to deal with a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, according to the Pink Ribbon Foundation of Quebec.

In September, a La Pêche resident in her early 40s recently discovered a lump in her breast. (For privacy reasons she said she prefers not to have her name published.) She moved to Quebec from Europe five years ago and explained that, when she found the lump, she was terrified.

“You try to be rational and at the same time you wake up in the middle of the night worrying,” she said.

At first, she said she wasn’t actually that worried about outcomes. She explained that she felt the healthcare system was here to support citizens and that she would be taken care of. She said she told herself: “OK, even if it’s cancer, I live in a developed country. I have access to hospitals nearby and everything will be fine.”