When Jennifer celebrated her 40th birthday – she was taking charge of her health and well-being, feeling the best she had in years. During a routine checkup with her doctor, she was recommended for a screening mammogram. Despite having zero breast issues, her doctor suggested it would be good to have a baseline for future screenings. In January 2019, following this health advice, Jennifer booked herself for her first mammogram, which resulted in those life altering words: “you have breast cancer”.
“I went for my screening mammogram feeling perfectly healthy and here I was 17 days later hearing the news of a breast cancer diagnosis”
On average, 78 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every day – just like Jennifer. At BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, the Sadie Diamond Breast Health Imaging Centre is the provincial leader in early breast cancer diagnoses for over 6,000 British Columbians every year.
With aging equipment, an urgent need was identified for new, state-of-the-art equipment to elevate diagnostic and treatment standards, improving the patient experience and leading to more timely diagnoses. Less waiting, fewer unknowns, less stress – this all equates to women* spending more time living their best lives with their families and friends, and contributing to their communities.
The importance of replacing screening equipment with new technology, will save the lives of women we love. That’s why BC Women’s Health Foundation invites the community to support Invest in Breasts– so that women have access to the best care possible.
An initial investment from the Diamond Family in 2011 established the Sadie Diamond Breast Health Imaging Centre, providing women with access to the highest quality clinical screening for breast cancer. Since then, their ongoing generosity and commitment has helped to ensure an advanced clinical environment, with cutting-edge equipment, including their recent $1.6 million leadership gift to the Invest in Breasts Campaign. This recent investment will purchase two new 3D mammography machines, replacing the outdated equipment that has been in place for a decade. The new machines will provide access to the most effective screening technology available, offering sharper three dimensional images that will result in fewer false alarms, and smarter technologies to help find invasive cancers – regardless of age or breast density.
“We want to save lives and finding breast cancer early is critical. We believe women in our province deserve the best possible breast care available and investing in the most advanced breast screening equipment and technology available will help us accomplish this goal”– The Diamond Family
Regular screening, made possible by this advanced equipment and technology can find breast cancers when they are small, often finding lumps two or three years before a woman or her doctor can feel them. Jennifer’s screening led to a discovery of an early stage tumour that resulted in Stage 1 Breast Cancer, her early diagnosis meant there were many successful treatment options available:
“I was so lucky that my cancer was caught in an early stage. If I had waited to feel the lump or another concern, the cancer would have been a more advanced stage, with more invasive treatment required. The mammography program saved my life”- Jennifer
Together, we can provide the best care possible to the women who lead, create, advocate, nurture, and inspire us every day. We invite you to make a difference in the lives of women you love through our Invest in Breasts Campaign, we’re still on a mission to help improve breast health research, education, and advocacy to promote broader shifts in how women are diagnosed and supported through the experience of breast cancer.
Show your support at: Invest in Breasts
Celebrating your 40th birthday? Follow in Jennifer’s footsteps, schedule yourself a free mammogram or speak to your primary care provider to book your screening mammogram.
*The BC Cancer Breast Screening Program provides free screening mammograms for eligible BC women ages 40+.
Book a mammogram by calling 1-800-663-9203