April 9th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 15
Mobile Mammograms for help
test for Breast Cancer
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Ezra Black Photo
Janneta Zelezkina, mobile mammography technologist, stands in front of a mobile mammogram trailer outside the Coleman Arena.
Pass Herald Reporter
Last week, a 53-foot trailer was parked outside the Coleman Arena offering free mammograms to anyone with an Alberta Health card.
The trailer was there as part of Screen Test, a program that’s offering high-quality breast cancer screening to rural municipalities all over Alberta.
Irene Bradbury, a Screen Test volunteer and breast cancer survivor says the program saved her life.
“Three years ago I had a mammogram at this clinic and I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” says Bradbury.
Bradbury’s cancer was caught early and successfully treated. Today, she is in remission. Last week Bradbury and fellow volunteer Nel Kamer were on hand prepping others to receive breast cancer screenings.
“I’ve got gray hair. I’m retired. I want to do something rather than sitting at home. And it’s nice doing something worthwhile,” says Kamer.
In order to bring screening technology to rural areas, Screen Test has been employing two trailers over the last three years. The project was made possible by a partnership between Alberta Health and Parkland Fuel Corp. Since 2011, Parkland Fuel has donated almost $100,000 in fuel to power the trailers and their digital mammography equipment. Parkland, a Red Deer based company, is Canada’s largest independent marketer and distributor of fuels.

Janneta Zelezkina, mobile mammography technologist, says she tries to provide the same quality service a woman would get in Calgary, Edmonton or any other big city. She says the unit was servicing about 50 patients a day last week. The program is targeting women aged 40 and up. Zelezkina says women from 40 to 49 should have a mammogram every year and then every second year from age 50.
Zelezkina says the unit serves over 100 communities across the province including Hutterite colonies and Aboriginal reserves. Several weeks ago they were providing screenings in Fort Macleod and their next stop is Pincher Creek. Zelezkina says they travel tens of thousands of kilometres per year.
According to Alberta Health, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in the province and the second most fatal form of the disease after lung cancer. About 1 in 8 women in Alberta will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes and 75 percent of the cases are found in women over 50. Men also get breast cancer but they only account for about one percent of cases. In 2003, almost 1,800 women and 13 men in Alberta were diagnosed.
But Alberta Health says the survival rate is increasing because of improved screening and detection. The chances of dying from breast cancer are about one in 29 and the death rate has been decreasing by about 2.5 percent per year.
A mammogram is an x-ray of the breasts, which can detect abnormal changes that might be too small for a woman or a healthcare provider to manually feel. The whole process takes about fifteen minutes and involves about four digital scans, two for each breast.
April 9th ~ Vol. 84 No. 15
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