The Clara Bus and Sophie Air will be back again this year to offer breast cancer screening for women 50 – 69 years old in Eeyou Istchee.
Cree Health Board is excited to announce that the Clara Bus and Sophie Air will be visiting your community this year in partnership with Quebec’s Public Health Institute (INSPQ).
This year’s tour will kick off in Eastmain, beginning on Monday, March 8, before continuing to Wemindji and Chisasibi.
Dates for breast cancer screening in Whapmagoostui, offered through Sophie Air, will be determined soon. The Clara Bus is planned to visit Mistissini, Oujé-Bougoumou, and Nemaska beginning in June, and to Waskaganish and Waswanipi in Fall of this year.
Breast cancer screening is by appointment only.
Every 2 years, women aged 50 – 69 receive a letter from the Public Health Department of Cree Health Board, inviting them to be screened for breast cancer. These women will be able to call their local Chishaayiyuu CHRs to schedule an appointment.
Breast cancer screening is a test that checks for hidden signs of breast cancer before any symptoms – like a lump in the breast - appear.
A mammogram machine takes X-ray images of different angles of your breast so that a radiologist can decide if you need any follow up testing.
Nurse Christina Matoush explains breast cancer screening:
Deciding to participate in breast cancer screening is a personal choice and it’s important to have all the information you need to make the right decision for you.
Screening can reduce your chances of dying from breast cancer since it allows you to start treatment as soon as possible. It does this by catching breast cancer early enough before it has a chance to get worse. Georgina Macleod from Mistissini was able to detect breast cancer early, before she had any signs or symptoms, by getting screened. Her cancer was then treated successfully.
There are also cons to breast cancer screening that are important for you to know.
The mammogram images are not 100% conclusive, meaning that a false alarm is possible. 1 in 4 women who have regular mammograms will need follow up testing that is not necessary. These false alarms can lead to unnecessary travel, tests, stress and anxiety. This happened to Nancy Voyageur, from Mistissini, who needed to take sick leave from work due to stress while waiting for her results.
Georgina and Nancy share their personal experiences with breast cancer screening:
When looking at both pros and cons, experts agree that breast cancer screening is a good choice for women between 50-69 years old. The Public Health Department of the Cree Health Board recommends that all women between ages 50-69 be screened.
If you are between the ages of 35 and 49 and have a family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer, ask your doctor about the best screening options for you.
Lucy Trapper shares her story:
Please contact your local Chishaayiyuu CHR for more information or to book an appointment.