The BC Cancer Agency’s new digital mammography vehicle will be visiting more than 37 Northern communities in B.C. over the next three months.
The vehicles were officially added to the Screening Mammography Program on Feb. 1, 2016.
The state- of- the-art vehicles, one of which will be touring the North from now until August, will be equipped with a wheelchair lift, a spacious waiting area and an examination room.
According the BC Cancer Agency, these vehicles are there to provide women with a comfortable and consistent mammography experience at all locations.
Locations will offer a wide selection of appointments to fit in with busy family and work schedules.
Screening mammograms are available for women 40 years of age and older. If they choose to have a mammogram, it will be available every two years and a doctor’s referral is not required.
Eligible women can use the clinic locator at: www.screeningbc.ca/breast to find a fixed location or to view the schedule for the mobile mammography service in their area.
For remote communities, assisted travel support is provided for eligible women in the community to attend either the nearest fixed location or mobile stop.
Quick facts according to BC Cancer Agency:
– Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in Canadian women.
– Mammograms help find cancer in its earliest stages when there are more treatment options and a better chance of successful treatment.
– Research has shown a 25 per cent reduction in deaths from breast cancer among women who are screened through the Screening Mammography Program.
– Only half of BC women are taking advantage of this free service.
– The provincial program has 36 fixed screening mammography centres throughout the province and three mobile screening units that serve more than 120 rural and remote communities in British Columbia.
– The transition for analog to digital is part of BC’s Provincial Breast Health Strategy and allows for greater efficiency in reporting, sharing of images and allows radiologists to access both screening mammography and diagnostic images and reports on the same local system.
– In addition, technologists will be able to see the images right away to ensure image quality.
– The mobile units perform about 10 per cent of the total number of screening mammograms in British Columbia. Overall participation in the screening program by indigenous women over the past three years has increased by nine per cent and is currently at 57 per cent.