News Details

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

5,521 walkers begin second day of 60-km Weekend to End Breast Cancer walk raising $17.3 million

Walkers will finish the last 30-km of their journey at the Direct Energy Centre on the CNE Grounds

(Toronto, ON) September 9, 2007 - Early this morning, 5,521 Weekend to End Breast Cancer walkers, the largest number in the event’s five year history, set off on Day Two of their 60-km walk. Yesterday, Princess Margaret Hospital announced that these women and men raised $17,300,000 in Toronto’s 5th annual The Weekend to End Breast Cancer event, a 60-kilometre walk to raise funds for breast cancer research and care in Toronto. The 6th annual Weekend to End Breast Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Hospital is already planned for Sept. 5-7, 2008.

Walkers began their journey early yesterday morning after an emotional Opening Ceremony at the Direct Energy Centre. Hours later, they arrived at a “Tent City” erected at Downsview Park, where they were greeted by hot showers, meals and entertainment. Perhaps a little weary from their 30-kilometre trek the day before, participants had no problem finding the drive to get up early this morning and continue on the last 30-kilometres to the finish line.

Hundreds of Volunteers and Crew Members are on hand to provide support over the course of the two-day event including meals, water and snack stops, gear transport, portable restrooms, safety on the streets, and comprehensive medical services.

“Everyone involved in the Weekend displays incredible courage! In our fifth year of this event, the enthusiasm of the Walkers, Volunteers, Donors and Supporters has only increased and we are very grateful for their ongoing commitment,” said Paul Alofs, President & CEO of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. “Months of planning go into this event and there is no reward quite like being able to walk alongside the participants and know that together, we are having an undeniable impact in the fight against this disease.”

“This event is for people wanting to do something big in the fight against breast cancer,” said Dr. Tak Mak, Director of The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research. “Our research programs got a real boost as a result of the Walkers’ passion and commitment. It’s inspiring and has made The Weekend to End Breast Cancer in Toronto the most successful breast cancer fundraiser in Canada!”

For more information about the event, or to register as a participant for next year, please contact (416) 815-9255, or sign up online at www.endcancer.ca. Visit Opening Ceremonies, Camp or Closing Ceremonies and register on-site for 2008!

About Princess Margaret Hospital
Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm, Ontario Cancer Institute, have achieved an international reputation as one of the top 5 comprehensive cancer research hospitals in the world. Princess Margaret Hospital is a member of University Health Network, which also includes Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital. All three are research hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto.
http://www.uhn.ca/

About The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation
The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation at University Health Network raises funds for research, education and the enhancement of patient care at Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm, the Ontario Cancer Institute. http://www.pmhf.ca/

Contact:
Fiona Story, Communications Manager
T: 866-324-2939

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Record 5,521 walkers raise $17.3 million in 5th annual The Weekend to End Breast Cancer event

Princess Margaret Hospital to benefit from millions raised in two-day walk

(Toronto, ON) September 8, 2007 - Today, Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) announced that 5,521 walkers raised $17,300,000 in its annual The Weekend to End Breast Cancer event. This multi-day event is the largest single-event breast cancer fundraiser in Canada and this year, boasts a record number of walkers for its five year history. Spurred on by this continued growth in participation and support, the 6th annual The Weekend to End Breast Cancer in Toronto is already planned for September 5-7, 2008.

After a motivational Opening Ceremony at the Direct Energy Centre, participants embarked on the first 30-kilometres of their walk throughout the city. Tonight, they camp at Downsview Park as they rest up for the final 30-kilometres on Sunday. Their weekend journey ends tomorrow with an inspiring Closing Ceremony at the Direct Energy Centre located on the CNE Grounds at 4:30pm. Family, friends, and supporters are invited to greet and cheer on the Walkers as they make their way to the finish.

“The 5,521 women and men walking this weekend are truly courageous in making their mark in the fight against breast cancer. We’re very grateful to all the Walkers, Crew, Volunteers, Donors, and the entire community for their amazing support,” said Paul Alofs, President & CEO of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. “Together we are having a real impact on critical research and care programs that will save lives, and we’re not finished yet. We hope everyone will help us make next year’s event just as successful by registering now for the 2008 The Weekend to End Breast Cancer.”

“Over the last four years, all participants, donors and supporters of The Weekend to End Breast Cancer event have helped redefine breast cancer research, patient care and survivor support at Princess Margaret Hospital through the generous funds they have raised. The larger community of Ontario has been critical to supporting breast cancer research at The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research, enhanced patient care at PMH and the creation of a unique Survivorship program,” said Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, Medical Director of the PMH Cancer program.

Funds from The Weekend to End Breast Cancer have supported a tremendous range of initiatives including: the first Weekend to End Breast Cancer Chair in Breast Cancer Research, held by Dr. Tak Mak at The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research; the establishment of the first comprehensive Survivorship Program in Canada, led by Dr. Pam Catton; the ongoing enhancement of clinical support led by Dr. David McCready, Head of the Breast Site; the redevelopment of the M. Lau Breast Centre, a comprehensive breast imaging program; funding for the purchase of a Breast MRI machine; the advancement of the Pathology Tumour Bank; research in to breast cancer prevention and, the rapid diagnosis pilot project.

For more information about the event, or to register as a participant for next year, contact (416) 815-9255, or sign up online at www.endcancer.ca. Visit Opening Ceremonies, Camp or Closing Ceremonies and register on-site for 2008!

About Princess Margaret Hospital
Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm, Ontario Cancer Institute, have achieved an international reputation as one of the top 5 comprehensive cancer research hospitals in the world. Princess Margaret Hospital is a member of University Health Network, which also includes Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital. All three are research hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto. http://www.uhn.ca/

About The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation
The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation at University Health Network raises funds for research, education and the enhancement of patient care at Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm, the Ontario Cancer Institute. http://www.pmhf.ca/

Contact:
Fiona Story, Communications Manager
T: 866-324-2939

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The Star

Clinic offers same-day breast cancer diagnosis

If you have to hear bad news, I've always said it's better to hear it sooner rather than later Maggie McCarthy-Arnold cancer-free

Jul 27, 2007 04:30 AM

Megan Ogilvie
Health Reporter

For Maggie McCarthy-Arnold, the diagnosis could not come quick enough.

Once she knew there was a lump in her right breast, she was not going to rest until she found out whether the tough mass of tissue was crawling with cancer cells.

"If you have to hear bad news, I've always said it's better to hear it sooner rather than later," says the vivacious 49-year-old Toronto woman.

A friend, who knew about McCarthy-Arnold's worry, suggested she go to a new clinic at Princess Margaret Hospital that offers patients a one-stop shop for rapid breast cancer diagnosis.

Launched last September, the Rapid Diagnostic Breast Clinic provides women with answers in one day, instead of weeks or months. Women referred to the clinic can have a physical exam, a mammogram, an ultrasound, even a tissue biopsy and get the results from a surgeon, all on the same day.

It arose from a real clinical need, said Dr. David McCready, a surgical oncologist at Princess Margaret who spearheaded the novel program, which the hospital claims is unique in Canada.

"It would very often take many weeks, if not months, for some women to be diagnosed once (a breast tissue) abnormality was discovered, whether they felt it or it was found in screening or by a family physician," he said.

That kind of waiting can create enormous stress and anxiety for patients, especially when they have to wait days or weeks between appointments, shuttling between family doctors, radiologists and oncologists. After listening to patients' repeated calls for a faster, more efficient diagnosis, McCready approached the committee that runs The Weekend to End Breast Cancer, the 60-kilometre annual fundraising walk for Princess Margaret. The committee immediately agreed to the funding request and gave him $1 million to start the clinic as a pilot project. McCready and other top cancer doctors at Princess Margaret will be going on the 2007 walk, Sept. 7-9.

While other hospitals in the province are also trying to speed up diagnostic wait times St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto has been offering a rapid assessment service for 35 years Princess Margaret is the only one that can offer a one-day diagnosis because it is one of the few Canadian hospitals with an express tissue processor machine.

It is one of the most advanced biopsy testing systems in the world, allowing patients to have a tissue biopsy in the morning, get their pathology results in the afternoon and, if they have cancer, to immediately start a treatment plan with their surgeon. The machine, which costs about $300,000 and can process up to 120 biopsy samples per hour, analyzes breast tissue for cancer and provides doctors with what McCready calls, "information on the architecture of the tumour."

Bridgette Lord, an advanced nurse practitioner who graduated last year with a master's degree from the University of Toronto, is the primary contact for all the clinic's patients. She has helped 120 women manoeuvre through their diagnoses and says the response has been so positive the clinic will now be open two days a week, instead of just the one during the pilot project.

McCready and other hospital doctors were initially worried that women might be getting too much information in one day, that overloading them with treatment details would create even more stress on top of a positive diagnosis.

But preliminary results from a hospital study suggest the rapid diagnosis does indeed reduce patient anxiety. Lord said patients continually tell her they prefer to hear their diagnosis whether positive or negative as quickly as possible.

McCarthy-Arnold almost skipped her first mammogram appointment scheduled on a sunny October day last fall. But once she knew a lump was growing in her right breast, she wanted to know what it was and how to fix it. One week after the mammogram, the Rapid Diagnostic Breast Clinic gave her answers. "I had the biopsy at 10:30 in the morning, went for a long walk downtown, ate some french fries ... went back up to the breast clinic and met with Dr. McCready. He said, `Yes, you do have breast cancer.'"

McCarthy-Arnold left the clinic that day with a treatment plan in her hand and, one month later, went back to Princess Margaret for a lumpectomy. Today, with chemotherapy and other treatments behind her, McCarthy-Arnold is back at work and cancer-free.

"I don't know how I would have coped for the two weeks (waiting for biopsy results) if I had gone the traditional route," she says, recalling the stress of the initial diagnosis. "I'm a go-getter. I want to know what I'm fighting."

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Study identifies breast density as the #1 risk factor for breast cancer
Definitive long term study in 3 Canadian screening populations

(Toronto - January 17, 2007) -Scientists at The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at Princess Margaret Hospital have established that extensive dense tissue in the breast is a major risk factor for breast cancer. 

The risk of breast cancer was about five times greater in women with extensive dense tissue in the breast compared to those with little or no dense tissue. Risk was increased both for women with breast cancer detected by screening, and in those with cancers found between screening examinations. Risk of breast cancer in women with dense breasts remained high over a period of eight years, both at screening, and between screens. These results show that in addition to increasing risk of breast cancer, dense breast tissue also makes cancers more difficult to see in a mammogram.
 
“This study establishes that breast density is an extremely important risk factor for developing breast cancer,” says the study’s principal investigator,” Dr. Norman Boyd, a principal investigator in The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at Princess Margaret Hospital and a professor at the University of Toronto. He is also the Lee K. and Margaret Lau Chair in Breast Cancer Research, Ontario Cancer Institute, Princess Margaret Hospital.

“Depending on a woman’s age, between 16-30 per cent of breast cancers can be attributed to extensive density,” says Dr. Boyd. “Other risk factors, including family history and the known genes, account for a much smaller proportion of the disease.” 

The paper will be published January 18, 2007 in The New England Journal of Medicine.To read the paper in PDF format, click here. To read the editorial in PDF format, click here.

For several decades medical literature has pointed to breast density as one of several risk factors for breast cancer. This study is the largest to date to be based on modern mammography, and to focus on how cancers were found.

The researchers compared different breast densities with the risk of breast cancer in more than 1,000 women with breast cancer and 1,000 who did not have the disease, who were screened in the National Breast Screening Study, The Ontario Breast Screening Program and the Screening Mammography Program of British Columbia.

Breast tissue is made up of fat, supporting tissue (stroma), and the epithelium that forms ducts and lobules. These tissues affect the passage of X-rays differently.  As a result, fat appears dark on a mammogram while denser tissues such as stroma, and epithelium, appear light. Density decreases with age and on average, women lose about one per cent of their breast density each year.

This research is supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute of Canada and the Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance.

The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at Princess Margaret Hospital brings together an elite team of cancer researchers, scientists, clinicians and staff dedicated to the ultimate goal of conquering breast cancer by leveraging basic, translational and clinical research into dramatic breast cancer breakthroughs. For more information, go to http://www.campbellfamilyinstitute.com/

Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm, Ontario Cancer Institute, have achieved an international reputation as global leaders in the fight against cancer. Princess Margaret Hospital is a member of the University Health Network, which also includes Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital. All three are research hospitals affiliated with the University of Toronto. For more information, go to http://www.uhn.ca/

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Jane Finlayson, Public Affairs, telephone: (416) 946-2846 email: jane.finlayson@uhn.on.ca


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Fiona Story, Communications Coordinator
866.324.2939

RECORD-BREAKING WEEKEND TO END BREAST CANCER WALK WRAPS TODAY
Sunday is 2nd Day in Two-Day Event

5,382 Walkers will finish the last 30 km of their 60 km journey at the Direct Energy Centre.

(Toronto, ON; Sept. 10, 2006) Yesterday, Princess Margaret Hospital announced that 5,382 walkers raised $17.2 million in The Weekend to End Breast Cancer, a two-day, 60 kilometre walk to raise funds for breast cancer research in Toronto. This is the fourth annual Weekend to End Breast Cancer walk in Toronto, a multi-day event that has raised $60 million to date. The fifth annual Weekend to End Breast Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Hospital is already planned for September 7-9, 2007.

Perhaps a little weary from their 30 kilometre trek the day before, 5,382 walkers in The Weekend to End Breast Cancer, had no problem finding the drive and determination to get up early this morning and continue on the last 30 kilometres of their 60 kilometre journey.

Walkers set out early yesterday morning after a moving Opening Ceremony at Princes’ Blvd, Exhibition Place. Hours later, they arrived at a “Tent City” erected at Downsview Park, where they were greeted by hot showers, meals and entertainment. Hundreds of Volunteers and Crew members are on hand over the course of the two day event to provide support at every level including meals, water and snack stops, gear transport, portable restrooms, safety on the streets, and comprehensive medical services. Today, they finish their journey at the Direct Energy Centre with an emotional Closing Ceremony.

“It takes a tremendous amount of planning and hundreds of Volunteers - to be able to look after so many participants and ensure their safety as they wind their way through the city over a two day period,” said Paul Alofs, President & CEO of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. “We’ve worked with local authorities with regard to the route and street safety; we’re providing plenty of Pit Stops for Walkers to re-hydrate and refuel; and we’ve got a great volunteer medical response team on hand at all times to help with blisters, dehydration, or any other medical issues.”

“This multi-day event is for people wanting to do something really bold in the fight against breast cancer,” said Dr. Tak Mak, Director, The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at Princess Margaret Hospital.  “We are so grateful for the support and are thrilled at how the city and the surrounding communities have come together to continue to make this event the most successful breast cancer fundraiser in Canada!”

The Weekend to End Breast Cancer benefits breast cancer treatment, research, and education at Princess Margaret Hospital, an international leader in the fight against cancer and the largest institution in Canada devoted to cancer treatment, innovative research, and education programs. Princess Margaret Hospital supports ground-breaking research in breast cancer, moving us one step closer to discovering a cure. Princess Margaret Hospital focuses on translational research - research findings that are quickly transformed into improved treatment options and enhanced patient care.

For more information about the event, or to register as a participant for next year, please contact (416) 815-9255, or sign up online at www.endcancer.ca. Visit Closing Ceremonies and register on-site for 2007!


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About Princess Margaret Hospital
Proceeds from The Weekend to End Breast Cancer will benefit Princess Margaret Hospital, a leader in the fight against cancer and the largest institution in Canada exclusively devoted to cancer treatment, research and education. Funds raised will be primarily directed to groundbreaking research at The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research,, moving us a step closer to discovering a cure. Proceeds will also be used to continue to support clinical care and treatment programs, and provide survivorship support at Princess Margaret Hospital, a member of University Health Network. 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Fiona Story
Communications Coordinator
866.324.2939

5,382 WALKERS BREAK CANADIAN FUNDRAISING RECORD IN 60-KILOMETRE BREAST CANCER WALK

Princess Margaret Hospital to benefit from $17.2 million raised by participants in two-day walk.

 (Toronto, ON; Sept. 9,2006) Today, Princess Margaret Hospital announced that 5,382 walkers raised $17.2 million in The Weekend to End Breast Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Hospital setting a new record. The multi-day event in Toronto is the largest single-event fundraiser in Canadian history. This is the fourth annual Weekend to End Breast Cancer walk in Toronto, a 60 km walk that has raised $60 million to date. The fifth annual Weekend to End Breast Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Hospital is already planned for September 7-9, 2007.

After a motivational Opening Ceremony at Princes’ Blvd, Exhibition Place, participants embarked on the first 30 kilometers of their walk. Tonight, they camp at Downsview Park, as they rest up for the final 30 kilometres on Sunday, taking them through more of Toronto’s scenic neighbourhoods. Their weekend journey will end with an inspiring Closing Ceremony at the Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Grounds at 4:30pm. Family, friends, and supporters are invited to greet and cheer on the Walkers as they make their way to the finish.

“We’re so grateful to the 5,382 courageous women and men walking this weekend, and to all the Volunteers, Donors, and truly the entire community for their amazing support,” said Paul Alofs, President & CEO of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. “Walkers are funding critical research initiatives and patient programs that will save lives. Let’s make next year’s event just as successful, register for 2007 at www.endcancer.ca or call 416.815.9255.”

“We are now in the fourth year of this fantastic event, which has motivated many thousands of supporters to make a huge commitment to help conquer breast cancer,” said Audrey Loeb, event chair and a director of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation.

The Weekend to End Breast Cancer benefits breast cancer treatment, research, and education at Princess Margaret Hospital, an international leader in the fight against cancer and the largest institution in Canada devoted to cancer treatment, innovative research, and education programs. Princess Margaret Hospital supports ground-breaking research in breast cancer, moving us one step closer to discovering a cure. Princess Margaret Hospital focuses on translational research - research findings that are quickly transformed into improved treatment options and enhanced patient care.

For more information about the event, or to register as a participant for next year, please contact (416) 815-9255, or sign up online at www.endcancer.ca. Visit Opening Ceremonies, Camp or Closing Ceremonies and register on-site for 2007!

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About Princess Margaret Hospital

Proceeds from The Weekend to End Breast Cancer will benefit Princess Margaret Hospital, a leader in the fight against cancer and the largest institution in Canada exclusively devoted to cancer treatment, research and education. Funds raised will be primarily directed to groundbreaking research at The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research, moving us a step closer to discovering a cure. Proceeds will also be used to continue to support clinical care and treatment programs, and provide survivorship support at Princess Margaret Hospital, a member of University Health Network.  

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Fiona Story, Communications Coordinator
The Weekend to End Breast Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Hospital
866.324.2939
fstory@endcancer.ca

The 2006 Weekend to End Breast Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Hospital is almost here!

The fourth annual 60 kilometre walk to raise millions for breast cancer research kicks off this weekend!
 
(Toronto, ON; September 4, 2006) - Thousands of women and men are uniting to make a bold statement in the fight against breast cancer this weekend in The Weekend to End Breast Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Hospital.

After Opening Ceremonies early Saturday morning, Walkers begin a two-day, 60 kilometre journey that winds through the city neighbourhoods, complete with a night of camping, to raise funds for breast cancer research and care in the region.  It will be an unforgettable weekend of hope, as the participants celebrate survivors, honour lives lost, and help raise millions of dollars for the Princess Margaret Hospital to assist breast cancer patients and their families.
 
“The Weekend to End Breast Cancer is bringing us closer to a cure. I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and I’m here and fighting thanks to continuous progress in research and treatment,” says Angela Moch, diagnosed at 30 years old. “I reached the fundraising goal of $2,000 soon after I registered and I kept right on going! I’m proud to be able to make a difference and walk 60km to end breast cancer for not only my sake but all women and men touched by this disease.”

Paul Alofs, President and CEO of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation and event participant who is walking for the fourth year, looks forward to another spectacular event. “Proceeds are helping fund groundbreaking research, treatment and prevention programs right here,” says Alofs. “That’s why I’m walking every step of the 60 kilometres in Toronto this year. I’m walking to honour those who have lost their lives to this dreadful disease, including my own mother, and I’m also walking to celebrate the survivors.”

“The community has embraced and supported this event with such passion and we are so grateful for the support that The Weekend to End Breast Cancer has received from participants, volunteers, donors and the community as a whole,” says Dr. Mary Gospodarowicz, PMH Medical Director, Oncology and Blood Disorders.

The Weekend to End Breast Cancer benefits breast cancer treatment, research, and education at Princess Margaret Hospital, an international leader in the fight against cancer and the largest institution in Canada devoted to cancer treatment, innovative research, and education programs. Princess Margaret Hospital supports ground-breaking research moving us one step closer to discovering a cure is led by world-renowned scientist Dr. Tak Mak at The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research. A key focus is translational research - research findings that are quickly transformed into improved treatment options and enhanced patient care.

For more information about the event please contact (416) 815-9255, or visit www.endcancer.ca.

About Princess Margaret Hospital
Proceeds from The Weekend to End Breast Cancer will benefit Princess Margaret Hospital, a leader in the fight against cancer and the largest institution in Canada exclusively devoted to cancer treatment, research and education. Funds raised will be primarily directed to groundbreaking research at The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research, moving us a step closer to discovering a cure. Proceeds will also be used to continue to support clinical care and treatment programs, and provide survivorship support at Princess Margaret Hospital, a member of University Health Network.


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