Breast screening back rolling through the Sea to Sky this fall | Squamish Chief

Breast screening back rolling through the Sea to Sky this fall

Mammography was suspended across the province for 10 weeks due to the pandemic

COVID-19 stopped a lot of things in their tracks, including, for a time, the BC Cancer mobile mammography units that roll through Squamish twice a year.

The BC Cancer Breast Screening Program was suspended across the province for 10 weeks, starting in March.

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The mobile mammography unit's last visit to Squamish was in January.

But like other services and businesses, the unit is back up and running, with new precautions in place.

The units resumed service in June.

It is important that even in a pandemic, women continue getting their breasts screened.

BC Cancer screening
Source: Courtesy BC Cancer

"Screening mammograms can find breast cancer early. With early detection, there are more treatment options and a better chance of survival," Janette Sam, operations director for BC Cancer Breast Screening told The Chief.

"A delay in regular screening mammograms for those women with no breast symptoms is unlikely to cause serious harm to most patients, however, women are encouraged to stay up to date with their screening if possible."

She added that women with symptoms should act quickly and not wait for a screening appointment.

"It is very important that women reach out to their health care provider right away if they have noticed any new changes in their breasts," she said.

Approximately 700 women are screened annually when the mobile unit visits Squamish.

Currently, the mobile has approximately 70% of the normal number of appointments available daily to allow technologists time in between patients to perform COVID-19 infection control procedures, according to Sam.

Year-round mammography is also available at 36 locations around the province, including the nearest centre in North Vancouver.

The unit will be coming to the Sea to Sky:

Pemberton – Sept 14 to 16

Whistler – Sept 17 to 24

Squamish Oct 19 to 30

More information can be found on the BC Cancer COVID-19 and Cancer Screening webpage.

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