First piloted by the Screening Mammography Program of BC (SMP) in 1990, the mobile mammography service visits more than 120 rural communities across BC, including more than 35 First Nations communities annually.
Mobile mammography service performs about 10% of the total number of screening mammograms in BC. There are three mobile screening units that serve rural and remote communities in BC:
Mobile covers Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands and the Squamish Corridor.
Mobile covers the Interior.
Mobile covers the Greater Vancouver area and the Northern Health Authority region.
Screening mammograms are available for women 40 and over in BC. Women can make an informed decision to screen by visiting www.screeningbc.ca/breast
to learn more, or can speak with their health care provider about their personal risk
and the benefits and limitations
SMP has completed the process of converting its mobile film mammography fleet to digital mammography service.
Women are now able to walk onto the new coaches and have their screening mammogram performed with state-of-the-art equipment, providing a consistent, professional experience for women as well as making location availability easier. The new mobile digital mammography coaches are equipped with a wheelchair lift and designed to fit on all BC Ferries.
The transition to digital is part of BC's Provincial Breast Health Strategy
. The conversion to digital mammography allows for greater efficiency in sharing of images. Technologists are now able to see the images right away to ensure image quality, rather than waiting for the films to be developed when they return to their reporting centre. Funding for the purchase of the mobile digital mammography coaches was provided through Ministry of Health
capital funding and sponsorship support by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) and Shoppers Drug Mart. The Screening Mammography Program has partnered with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
and Shoppers Drug Mart
to enhance local community engagement and support to help the program meet its objectives.