The Screening Mammography Program of BC is offered by the BC Cancer Agency through the Provincial Health Services Authority and was established in 1988.
It was the first organized population-based screening program in Canada for the early detection of breast cancer. The goal of the provincial program is to reduce breast cancer deaths by finding cancer in its early stages, when it’s small and there are more treatment options and better outcomes.
The program operates 37 fixed screening mammography centres across the province, and three mobile screening units that serve over 120 rural and remote communities in B.C., including Clearwater and Barriere.
This year’s location and schedule are: in Clearwater at Dr. Helmcken Hospital, 640 Park Drive on Nov. 7 and 8, and Barriere, Royal Canadian Legion at 681 Shaver Road on Nov. 9.
Research has shown a 25 per cent reduction in deaths from breast cancer among women who are screened through the Screening Mammography Program of BC giving this province the lowest incidence of breast cancer in the country, and some of the best survival outcomes for those women who do get breast cancer. The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age – over 80 per cent of new breast cancers diagnosed each year are in women age 50 or older.
B.C. women between the ages of 40 and 74 with a primary care provider (doctor, nurse practitioner or naturopath), can book a screening mammogram directly without a doctor’s referral by calling the BC Cancer Agency screening call centre at 1.800.663.9203 or 604.877.6187.