Janice Austin

December 2015

  • Residency Program: University of Calgary
  • Supervisors: Dr. Lloyd Mack, Dr. May Lynn Quan, Dr. Elizabeth Oddone,


Janice completed her Bachelor of Science with Honours in Biology and Chemistry at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus. She then went on to complete her Medical Degree at the University of Toronto. She is currently in her final year of General Surgery at the University of Calgary and will be commencing a Fellowship in Surgical Oncology at the University of Toronto in July 2016. Her clinical research is therefore focused in surgical Oncology. In addition, she has a strong interest in education and is completing her Master’s Degree in Medical Education through the University of Calgary. She is heavily involved in several residency committees as well as medical education research.

Janice alongside her supervisors has conducted and published studies on bootcamps medical education, surgical treatment of superficial soft tissue sarcoma, and breast cancer in young women (manuscript in preparation). These studies have been presented at the Canadian Surgery Forum (London, 2011 and Vancouver, 2014) as well as the ASCO Breast Cancer Symposium (San Francisco, 2014). She was also awarded funding by the Carol May Yates Memorial Endowment in 2012 for research in breast cancer.

Research Summary:

Janice’s most recent study examined young women with breast cancer. Breast cancer in young women is aggressive. Delays in diagnosis and treatment may contribute to the worse outcomes observed in the treatment of breast cancer in young women. The objectives of Janice’s research were 1) to determine if there was diagnostic or treatment delay for women ? 40 with breast cancer in Alberta and 2) to describe treatment patterns for women ? 40 with breast cancer in Alberta. Diagnostic delay was defined as time from first imaging showing an abnormality to pathologic diagnosis of >90 days. Treatment delay was defined as time from pathologic diagnosis to commencement of first treatment modality of >45 days.

The above objectives were achieved through a retrospective population based review of women ? 40 treated for breast cancer between 2007 and 2010. Patients were identified through the Alberta Cancer Registry.

This study found that 4% (15/347) of young women in Alberta had a delay in diagnosis. Delays were most often due to inconclusive imaging with recommendations for follow up imaging. Women with diagnostic delay more often underwent single imaging with ultrasound rather than imaging with both mammogram and ultrasound. Approximately 7.5% (26/347) of young women experienced a delay in treatment. Delays in diagnosis or treatment were not associated with higher rates of recurrence or death.

Janice is currently working on a meta-analysis of preventable adverse events in surgery and is conducting a survey to measure the perceptions and practice of surgeons with respect to how patient safety is taught at the University of Calgary using a Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practice (KAP) assessment.