The BC Cancer mobile mammography coach will return to 100 Mile House with radiation technologists like Natasha McCormick (pictured) in August. Karissa Gall photo.

BC Cancer offers 10-minute mammograms in 100 Mile hospital parking lot

The BC Cancer mobile mammography coach was fully booked on April 29, will return in August

The BC Cancer mobile mammography coach came to 100 Mile House on April 29.

Parked in the 100 Mile District General Hospital lot, the coach was fully booked for breast X-rays throughout the day.

According to radiation technologist Natasha McCormick, who had been in Kamloops on the previous day, a full day for the coach means about 50 screenings.

“The exam only takes about 10 minutes,” McCormick said.

After booking an appointment ahead of time, women arrive at the coach and climb aboard with identification, fill out a form on one of the seats inside and have their breasts X-rayed inside a private room by a female technologist.

“We take four different pictures, two of each breast in two different directions,” McCormick said.

The images look for hidden cancer in women who are healthy and have never had breast cancer.

McCormick said the mobile screening is no different than being X-rayed within a brick-and-mortar hospital.

“When it comes to the screening program, there’s no difference,” she said. “The machines are the same.”

RELATED: Breast density to be included in mammogram results across B.C.

Deka Lake resident Susan Barton, who took advantage of the mobile screening opportunity for a second time, said it was a good experience and important to do.

“It was good. They’re really good, friendly, talking about different things to make you comfortable,” Barton said after her appointment.

“It’s important,” she said, adding that her sister, a resident of Lone Butte, has already booked an appointment for when the coach returns to 100 Mile House next, in August.

McCormick said most of the women who came in for appointments were appreciative.

“It saves them the time driving,” she said.

For those who were not able to make it to the coach for an appointment on Monday and would like to do so in the future, McCormick advised calling central booking at 1-800-663-9203.

The coach will be in 100 Mile House again between August 6 and 10, and between August 12 and 14.

“We’re consistently moving unless we’re down for maintenance, which has to happen occasionally for the truck and the machines,” she said. “There’s never a down day.”

RELATED: Immigrant women less likely to get breast cancer screening: B.C. study

RELATED: Transgender patients less likely to be screened for cancer: study

According to BC Cancer, about 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.

To find breast cancer early, the organization recommends regular screening mammograms every two years for women 40 and over, as part of their regular health routine.

Women who are experiencing symptoms such as a lump or nipple discharge should see their doctor immediately.

For more information about screening mammography, visit www.screeningbc.ca/breast.


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