Drumheller women flocked to the mobile breast cancer screening trailer that was parked at the Drumheller Health Centre throughout the month of January.
The mobile trailer is one of two mobile breast cancer screening clinics that travel to over 100 communities throughout the province. The trailers are operated and funded by Alberta Health Services.
Harmony McRae is a community coordinator for AHS, Screen Test. She said that the Drumheller event was almost 100 per cent full, with over 400 women attending.
"I think people are starting to realize that screening for cancer, it's not as scary as it used to be, and it's really important."
McRae pointed out that the mobile clinics are a valuable resource in rural communities because screening is so quick and important, but lengthy travel times can put some people off.
"Some places don't have screening equipment in their communities and, driving to the city just to get a test done, it's expensive, it's time consuming and it's added work for everybody," said McRae. "It's nice to have these services that actually bring these tests to the community."
Some good news for women still afraid to get screened for cancer: it's generally survivable.
"With screening mammograms, we are finding a lot of breast cancers much earlier and we're treating them earlier," said McRae. "So now, most women -- around 90 per cent -- are surviving breast cancer. It used to be that breast cancer was a death sentence and that's really not the case anymore."
The mammogram mobile clinic will be back in Drumheller in January 2019. Women between the ages of 50 and 74 are encouraged have a mammogram every two years.
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