Prevention, education, advocacy

In September 1991, five Montreal women with breast cancer—Carolyn Gibson Badger, Sharon Batt, Kathleen Glass, Joan Piper and Margaret Waller—joined forces to end their isolation and to move the disease from the private to the public sphere. They formed a group to raise awareness of breast cancer issues, to advocate for better diagnosis, treatment and care; and to give women a voice in decisions about treatment, services, health policy and research.

Artwork: Deena Dlusy-ApelAt BCAM's first public meeting, in April 1992, sixty women and reporters crowded into a small church hall and BCAM was launched publicly. These pioneers went on to organize conferences, demonstrations, and a range of public education events with the goal of putting the focus on prevention and the link between toxic substances in our environment and this disease. Twenty three years later, members voted to change the organization's name from Breast Cancer Action Montreal to Breast Cancer Action Quebec to reflect the broader reach of the organization.

Most women today have contact with at least one woman affected by breast cancer. Concern about the disease has convinced a new generation of women to join the movement so that today, BCAQ benefits from a wide network of members, partners and collaborators.