A local non-profit society is working to ensure Shuswap women get screened for breast cancer.
On Saturday, Sept. 28, a mobile mammogram unit will roll into the Blind Bay Marketplace thanks to the newly formed non-profit South Shuswap Health Services Society (SSHSS). The society co-ordinated with the BC Cancer Foundation.
The mobile unit will also stop at the Sorrento Drop-In Centre on Friday, Sept. 27.
To register or to getmore information on eligibility, call 1-800-663-9203.
The service is free annually to permanent residents of B.C. who have a care card and family doctor or clinic.
There are some restrictions:
• Women who have breast implants or injections must get a doctor’s referral.
• Breastfeeding mothers need to wait three months after they stop breastfeeding before getting a mammogram.
• Women with a history of breast cancer are not eligible either. Anyone with symptoms such as a lump or nipple discharge should go immediately to see their doctor.
High-risk women under the age of 40 may register if they have a referral from their doctor. Screening is not recommended for women under 40 as the risk of breast cancer is considered to be low.
Women over the age of 79 are eligible with a doctor’s referral.
Normal results are mailed to either the patient or their health- care provider within a two-week period.
Those who are asked to return for additional testing may not necessarily have breast cancer, but a closer look at a specific area may be required. According to the BC Cancer Agency’s website, 95 per cent of those called for additional testing do not have cancer.
The website also instructs those who do not have a family doctor to try to find one using the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC website at www.cpsbc.ca. Or try the BC Naturopathic Association website at www.bcna.ca, or the BC Nurse Practitioner Association at www.bcnpa.org. This is important, as the mobile clinic needs somewhere to send the test information.
The mammogram screening process is designed to catch cancer in its early stages, and has the potential to save lives. Those who have not recently been screened are strongly encouraged to take the time to do so.
The next SSHSS meeting is Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. at Shuswap Lake Estates. Call Sue for more info at 250-832-5932.