The Princess Margaret Changes the Face of Breast Cancer Diagnosis in Canada

(Toronto May 8, 2009) - The Princess Margaret Hospital announced the creation of The Gattuso Rapid Diagnostic Centre named after the generous gift of $12.5 million from Emmanuelle Gattuso and Allan Slaight. This centre was seed-funded by the funds raised during The Weekend to End Breast Cancer benefiting The Campbell Family Institute at The Princess Margaret.

As there are often long wait times for breast cancer screening and diagnosis, patients of The Princess Margaret will be able to avoid the anxiety of waiting and receive same-day diagnosis.

The program and its capacity will grow over time. In the next few months the program will be able to accommodate 15 patients per week (or 750 per year) and will increase exponentially with a vision of diagnosing 3,000 patients per year by the time the program is running at full capacity in 2013. The Rapid Diagnostic Centre will help transform patient care not just at The Princess Margaret but elsewhere.

Using a new pathology processor funded by The Weekend to End Breast Cancer participants and donors, the vision for the program is for women and men suspected of having breast cancer to receive all their tests, diagnosis, and treatment plan in one day at Princess Margaret Hospital.
The Globe and Mail has reported on this exciting news. To read more, visit article here.

This program is helping those like Karen Louie, who took part in a pilot project at the hospital, to fight a daunting disease. Ms. Louie was given her breast cancer diagnosis and a treatment plan within three hours of her biopsy in May 2008.

"When we left, we were shell-shocked, but felt reassured that at least we now knew what we were dealing with," Karen Louie, vice-president, general counsel and secretary at Harlequin Enterprises Ltd., said of the three-hour wait with her husband for a diagnosis. "We had a plan of action we could focus on."

Paul Alofs, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, said he hopes other centres can replicate the service and that it can be expanded to other kinds of cancer.


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