Letter: Mammogram screening strongly encouraged

I encourage all women age 40 and up to use this free and invaluable service.

Mammogram Screening

Having gone through my own mammography appointment recently, I encourage all women age 40 and up to use this free and invaluable service. A simple phone call is all that is needed to arrange an appointment time. I booked mine and got in within six weeks.

All women aged 40 and up can access this service, regardless of whether you’ve had breast cancer in the family or not. Women under 40 who are at high risk of developing breast cancer require a referral. Myself, I’d say women of any age should see a doctor if they have any suspicious lumps or any concerns that require further attention.

Once you’ve had the scan and it is clear, you can make another appointment again in two years time.

The mammography van is located in the parking lot outside of Shopper’s Drug Mart. Simply walk through the side door and you’d be surprised how roomy and comfortable it is inside. There is seating for five people plus one volunteer receptionist and one technician. The mammography unit is located in the back of the van and this room is also roomy.

The technicians are wonderful. I had a pleasant chat with one from Kelowna who truly loves her work and is coming to an age of retirement. She is hoping to find a nice retirement trailer in the Salmon Arm area.

I was delighted to see three elderly women over the age of 75. Women over 75 do not receive their mammography appointment cards and are thereby left to themselves to remember and call for an appointment. The technician assured me that women in this age group to please come in. As long as you are reasonably healthy a doctor’s referral is not required.

The volunteer receptionist was a joy to talk with and used to be a school teacher at the old Tarry’s elementary school. Hello to you out there in Ootischenia. And hello to the wonderful woman from Krestova who lost her husband to a brain tumour. We had a wonderful camaraderie while awaiting our turns.

So take advantage of this free health care service and take care of your health. Call the Screening Program Client Services Centre at 1-800-663-9203 or 604-877-6187.

Bonnie Shlakoff

Glade, BC

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