What are you most grateful for this Thanksgiving? For breast cancer survivor, Donna Bell, it’s her mammogram. “I can’t express how important it is without getting emotional,” she says, “because that’s how they found my cancer.”
Like many people, Donna's schedule was busy and getting a mammogram fell off her list. However, at the advice of her doctor, Donna scheduled an appointment and the results changed her life in an instant. "I was shocked," she remembers, "I thought, 'this can't be right. I look after myself; I eat well; I exercise; I live life to the fullest. I have amazing friends and family. Why? I just can't believe I have cancer.'"
Donna's story is all too common; one in eight women in British Columbia will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Regular mammograms can detect cancer early when more treatment options are available and chances of survival are greater. "Early detection is so critical," Donna says, "We are all busy. This is an investment in your health and your life."
BC women age 40 to 74 with a first-degree relative (mother, daughter, sister) with breast cancer are recommended to have a mammogram every year. Women age 40 to 74 without a family history of breast cancer can have a mammogram every two years.
Women in BC can access safe and comfortable screening mammography services, no matter where they live. The screening mammography website www.screeningbc.ca/breast can be used to find the closest screening centre or to see the mobile mammography vehicle schedule.
A doctor's referral is not required. BC women with a primary care provider (doctor, nurse practitioner or naturopath) can book a screening mammogram by calling 1-800-663-9203.
Watch more on Donna's story here.