Breast Cancer: One Chance in Ten
Air Date – September 11, 1991

CKCO’s locally produced report (at 7:30 p.m. Channel 13, Cable 12) on breast cancer Breast Cancer: One Chance in Ten. The title refers to the chilling statistics that tell us one Canadian woman in 10 will contract breast cancer.

Host Colleen Walsh discusses the factors that contribute to the rise in the disease, the steps women can take to detect it, the treatment available, and the controversy over the use of mammograms for women under the age of 50.

But the highlight of the program is CKCO broadcaster Betty Thompson’s candid, and at times tearful, account of her battle against the disease. Thompson, now a staunch advocate of mammograms, talks of turning down her doctor’s casual suggestion that she have a mammogram only to learn later that she, indeed, had breast cancer.

She talks openly of the “. . . horrendous panic that takes over. I thought “I’m dead’.” And the feeling that “your life takes on a different meaning.”

Thompson’s story in the months that followed has a positive tone. Her mastectomy and follow-up treatment proved successful and her prognosis is good. But she’s convinced that had she taken the doctor’s suggestion for a mammogram, or had he insisted she take one, her cancer would have been caught much earlier.

By going public with her story in this program and filming public service announcements for mammograms, Thompson has performed a valuable service to women in this community by urging them “to take better control of their own health.”

Bonnie Malleck – 1991 The Record – Kitchener-Waterloo