Mammograms save lives

Mobile screening coming to Barriere

(Metro Creative photo)

Mammograms save lives.

They help find cancer when it is small, allowing more treatment options and a better chance of recovery.

It is estimated that one in eight B.C. women will get breast cancer in their lifetime.

BC Cancer not only plans, coordinates and evaluates cancer care with the health authorities across B.C. to provide equitable and cost-effective health care for people living with or affected by cancer, but they also provide accessible screening programs in the fight against cancer.

BC Cancer Breast Screening is committed to ensuring screening mammography is accessible to those eligible for breast screening in B.C.

The purpose of a screening program is to apply a relatively simple, inexpensive test to a large number of people in order to identify those with risk factors for cancer or who are in its early stages.

A part of this screening program for women, especially women who reside in rural areas, is the Mobile Mammography Clinics that on average come to specified communities once a year providing easily accessible screening for female residents.

A screening mammogram is considered the international gold standard for detecting breast cancer early. Mammograms can usually find lumps two or three years before a woman or her primary care provider can feel them. Research has shown a 25 per cent reduction in deaths from breast cancer among women who regularly screen.

While women with a family history of breast cancer have a higher than average risk, the biggest risk factor for breast cancer is being a woman over 50 years of age. In fact, 80 per cent of breast cancer cases are diagnosed in women 50 years of age or older.

Although there is no known science available on how to prevent breast cancer, what is known is that good lifestyle habits help to reduce the risk.

Approximately 38 per cent to 42 per cent of breast cancers in countries like Canada are linked to lifestyle-related risk factors. Some of these risk factors include:

• Breast density

• A family history of breast cancer (only five per cent to 10 per cent of women who develop breast cancer have a genetic risk).

• If a woman is post-menopausal

• If a woman started her period before age 12

• If a woman started menopause after age 55

• If a woman never had a baby or had her first baby after age 30

• If a woman never breastfed

The Mobile Mammography Clinic van will be in Barriere on Oct. 26 – 27, 2020, at the Royal Canadian Legion, 681 Shaver Road, Barriere. To book a mammogram appointment please call 1-800-663-9203.

Appointments can also be made at other BC Cancer Screening locations across the province. Visit the online clinic locator to find a location or mobile service visit near you.

For more information on BC Cancer Screening go to: http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/screening