New digital mobile mammography vehicles coming to the Peace

By on February 3, 2016
Photo: BC Cancer Agency

Photo: BC Cancer Agency

DAWSON CREEK – Rural communities of the Peace will be receiving digital mobile mammogram services this Spring, as the BC Cancer Agency (BCCA) will be dispatching two new digital mammography vehicles to the far reaches of the province.

The two coaches feature up-to-date screening technology and are part of BCCA’s Mobile Mammography program, which visits 120 rural and remote communities and over 40 indigenous communities.

The coaches will be entering the Peace region in May 2016 and will be in the area for a few months, according to a representative of the Provincial Health Services Authority.

They will be visiting Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge, Fort Nelson, and Mackenzie during that time but exact dates have not been confirmed yet.

Visit www.screeningbc.ca/breast for scheduling, a clinic locator, information on breast cancer, mammograms and how to book appointments.

The coaches were blessed at a ceremony at the Musqueam First Nation in Vancouver on Feb. 1, a ceremony to honour indigenous communities and increase acceptance of the units in these areas.

“As a breast cancer survivor, I know first hand that mammograms save lives,” said Johnna Sparrow-Crawford, breast cancer survivor.

“My cancer was found two years ago when the mobile mammography service was visiting my community. I was already two years overdue for my routine mammogram – I kept putting it off because, like many women, I was too busy. I’m so grateful that this service came to my community and I made the time to get screened. My cancer was found early and we were able to treat it and move on. I’m so excited about these new vehicles. These new coaches will make getting a mammogram easier for women. They are comfortable and private, and because they travel to rural and remote communities, they are so accessible. If I could tell women in B.C. anything, it would be to take care of your health. Book a mammogram – it can save your life. It saved mine.”

There are fixed screening locations in Fort St. John and Dawson Creek hospitals.

For women who live in remote locations where the coaches can’t access, there is assisted travel support available.

Mammograms are available for women over 40 years of age, and are available to them every two years without a doctor’s referral.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canadian women.

The earlier breast cancer is found and diagnosed in a patient, the more treatment options and greater chance for survival she has.

“The BC Cancer Agency has always been a leader in breast cancer screening, and with the launch of these two new vehicles I’m hopeful that we can continue to improve our breast cancer screening rates. BC has always led the way in breast cancer screening, first by launching the screening mammography program in 1988, and again today with these new digital mammography vehicles. We’re the first in Canada to use wireless technology to ensure faster, more efficient results,” said Dr. Malcolm Moore, BCCA president.

In 2014, 1,404 cases of breast cancer were found out of 259,341 screening mammograms in B.C.

Stacy Thomas

news@northeastnews.ca

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