Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Mammogram tests get her vote

Ex-federal NDP leader routinely takes them, and this year it paid off

  • Print

HALIFAX -- Former NDP leader Alexa McDonough says she feels blessed that a routine, annual mammogram detected her breast cancer four months ago.

The woman who led the federal party between 1995 and 2003 spoke about her illness in an interview, saying she wants other women to know the importance of early detection.

"I've been diagnosed with breast cancer and I'm being treated for it, and I'm very grateful for that," she said Friday evening as she prepared to go to dinner with friends.

"Huge numbers of women across the country and around the world have breast cancer, and part of why I'm prepared to speak about it is that early detection is extremely important."

McDonough said the cancer was detected during a mammogram that's been part of her routine for years.

She is scheduled to finish radiation treatment at a Halifax hospital on Monday.

"I feel mostly extremely grateful," she said. "Grateful for the health-care system that is there, the support system that's been developed over many years for patients and cancer survivors."

A recent U.S. study published in the New England Journal of Medicine says that use of mammograms has led to over-treatment of cancer, with researchers saying some of the abnormalities detected are not a health threat.

However, McDonough said she would encourage "every last woman" to go for annual checkups and routine mammographies, calling it "the key to survival and successful treatment."

McDonough, 68, said she is feeling well, though slightly tired.

"I probably should have slowed down more than I have, but it's not in my genes or my nature to do that," she said.

She said she lives within walking district of the breast-cancer clinic and often makes the journey on foot.

Once there, McDonough says she is often recognized by other Nova Scotians as they wait together for treatments at the clinic.

She said there was little chance her illness would stay a private matter in a province where so many know her.

"It's not a secret to be kept in any case," she said.

McDonough said she is looking forward to Monday's final radiation treatment.

"If I'm really lucky and it's in the cards, then I may not need any more treatment."

The former social worker was leader of the federal New Democrats from October 1995 until January 2003. She also led the Nova Scotia NDP from 1980 until 1994.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 4, 2013 A20

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Maurice Leggett on his three interceptions vs. Alouettes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 070619 LIGHTNING ILLUMINATES AN ABANDONED GRAIN ELEVATOR IN THE VILLAGE OF SANFORD ABOUT 10PM TUESDAY NIGHT AS A LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS PASSED NEAR WINNIPEG JUST TO THE NORTH OF THIS  SITE.
  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100615 - Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 The Mane Attraction - Lions are back at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Xerxes a 3-year-old male African Lion rests in the shade of a tree in his new enclosure at the old Giant Panda building.  MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do high-profile endorsements for political candidates influence your voting decisions?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google