Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in B.C. About one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Getting regular screening mammograms can reduce risk of breast cancer death by 25 per cent by detecting cancer when it is small, allowing for more treatment options and a better chance at recovery. Mammograms can find lumps two or three years before a woman or her doctor can feel them.
Screening mammograms are free for women aged 40+ in BC and does not require a doctor’s referral.
BC Cancer Breast Screening has 36 screening centres across the province and three mobile mammography coaches that serve more than 120 rural communities in B.C. To find a screening centre or mobile mammography stop, visit screeningbc.ca/breast
Make it part of your regular health routine and remember to give your breasts some screen time with a screening mammogram.
- Breast cancer risk increases with age: 80 per cent of breast cancer cases are diagnosed in women over 50
- One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime – one in 28 women is expected to die from the disease
- Screening mammography continues to be the best test to routinely detect breast cancer and reduce breast cancer deaths in average-risk women who do not have any symptoms.
- B.C.’s overall breast cancer screening participation rate for women 50 – 69 is 53%, below the national target of 70%. Participation rates are less than the B.C. average for some regions, particularly the Kootenay Boundary area and the Northeast.
- The BC Cancer Breast Screening Program is a well-established program that has helped B.C. to achieve some of the best breast cancer survival outcomes in the world.
- Mammograms are x-rays of the breasts that are done in complete privacy by a female technologist.
- The BC Cancer Breast Screening Program provides free screening mammograms for eligible BC women ages 40+. A doctor’s referral is not required:
- Women 40 to 74 with a family history (first degree relative) of breast cancer should get a mammogram every year.
- Women 40-49 without a family history should speak to their doctor about the benefits and limitations of mammography and when they should begin to screen.
- Women 50 to 74 without a family history should get a mammogram every two years.
- Women 75+ should talk to their doctor about if they should continue to screen.