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What is it?
Breast cancer screening (mammography) checks for cancer in your breast before you or your doctor notice anything wrong (such as a lump).
Who is it for?
We recommend that all women aged 50 – 69 years be screened for breast cancer every two years. Screening is a person’s choice, so it is important to be informed about what it is and what are its pros and cons before making a decision.
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Where is it offered?
ClaraBus and SophieAir are mobile mammogram clinics that visit each community every two years.
If you happen to be out of town or unable to make it to your appointment with ClaraBus, please inform your local CMC to make other arrangements to have your test done.
What is it like?
A screening mammogram takes X-rays of your breasts. To do this, you take off your shirt and bra, and are given a robe to wear. Then the nurse or technician helps you position your breast to compress it between the two plates of the X-ray machine. The machine will take pictures of different your breast from different angles.
Having your breasts pressed between the two plates can be uncomfortable or even painful, but this part of the process takes only a few minutes.
After the mammogram, a technician will review the X-rays to ensure that they are clear. They will then be sent to a radiologist to read the results. It could take up to a six weeks to receive results.
If the mammogram shows something that might be cancer, further tests will be needed to determine whether it is cancer, and, if so, what kind it is and how it can be treated.
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How long does it last?
While a screening appointment may take up to an hour, the mammogram itself only takes 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of your breasts.
How can I get this service?
To be screened for breast cancer, you can contact your CMC to find out when the SophieAir or ClaraBus is coming to your community.
If you are between the ages of 50 and 69, you will get a letter from the CBHSSJB Public health department inviting you to be screened with the ClaraBus/SophieAir when it visits your community.
If you have a biological family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer, we recommend that you visit your doctor to discuss whether you should begin breast cancer screening before age 50, or more frequently than every 2 years. In the case of a very strong family history, a genetics consultation may be advised.
Where can I learn more?
You can find out more about breast cancer screening by contacting your local CMC.
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.