Improving Breast Cancer Diagnosis Pathways in Quebec

In 2022, Canada saw nearly 28,900 new cases of breast cancer, making it the most prevalent cancer among women and the second most common across the entire Canadian population, following lung cancer. Delays in diagnosis can significantly worsen the condition and amplify existing inequalities. Despite Quebec setting a 17-day investigation timeframe after an abnormal mammography result back in 1999, the CEO of the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation bemoaned in October 2021 that the actual delay could sometimes extend up to 17 weeks.

Drawing from scientific literature on cancer care, government reports, and expert interviews, this document delves into Quebec's diagnostic capabilities and performance. The authors compare breast cancer diagnostic innovations in Quebec with those in Alberta and Ontario, where diagnostic delays are comparatively shorter. They present practical strategies to accelerate and streamline the breast cancer diagnostic process, guiding readers toward essential resources for deeper insights.

The authors recommend integrating high-risk individuals into Quebec's organized screening program, customizing the screening process, modernizing available imaging technologies and genetic tests, and enhancing communication methods.

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