Women will be lined up at the Alberta Health Services centre in Three Hills, Alberta today (November 8) as a Screen Test program arrives.
"A mammogram is basically an X-Ray of the breast. They take the X-Ray pictures from two different angles of the breast and it's used to show if we notice any small tumours that may be present," explained Karla Heintz, Senior Manager of Programs with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
Women aged 50 to 74 are most at risk for developing breast cancer.
"The screening program begins at the age 50 and goes up. However, there are younger women who are concerned," added Heintz. "If, let's say there is some reason that may put you at a higher risk of Breast Cancer for example, it could be if you have dense breasts, if it runs in the family (and) I know a lot of lifestyle choices can increase one's risk. If someone us under the age of 50 and they would like a mammogram, a doctor's referral is needed for that"
The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation wants to encourage women to become more breast aware.
"That starts with being visually comfortable with your breasts and knowing what looks or feels normal for you. If you notice any changes such as redness, dimpling of the skin, puckering of the skin, discharge or unusual pain that is normally not there then I would encourage people to talk to their doctor first," reported Heintz. "If, by chance, you found an abnormal lump or bump on your breast, we really encourage you to go to your doctor to investigate it further."
"The nice thing about mammography is it really helps us detect Breast Cancer early. If you accidentally felt something on your breast versus going and getting a mammogram, it literally can have a growth rate of two years ahead of schedule. A mammogram can really catch it in its early phases," mentioned Heintz.
Heintz told 99.5 Drum FM there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to Breast Cancer, such as if it doesn't run in your family then you are completely okay.
"The reality is only 5 to 10 percent diagnosed within Canada come within family genetics," expressed Heintz. "It's important for us to look at the other 90 percent and where they come from. That's where it comes to looking at your life and what's going on because there's measures we can take to reduce our risk along the way."
The mobile mammogram trailer will be at the Three Hills Health Centre from November 26 until the 30 and again on December 1. Residents can book an appointment by calling 1-800-667-0604.
Drumheller will host a mobile mammography clinic from November 28 to December 12.