B.C. Cancer Agency expands digital mammography service for rural women

The B.C. Cancer agency has upgraded two coaches from its mobile fleet to offer digital mammography service for women in rural and remote communities in the province.

Mammograms are recommended for all women 40 and older

The Musqueam First Nation blessed the BC Cancer Agency's two new digital mobile coaches at a ceremony on Monday. (BC Cancer Agency)

The B.C. Cancer Agency has upgraded two coaches from its mobile fleet to offer digital mammography services for women in rural and remote communities in the province. 

The agency says the digital upgrade provides more efficient services by using secure, wireless networks to send images for analysis. The coaches have also been upgraded to offer a more comfortable, private service for women.

The two coaches were blessed by elders from the Musqueam First Nation on Monday morning. 

"[The blessing] helps with some of the healing that will occur in these vehicles and will increase the acceptance of them in their community," said Janette Sam, operations director of the  BC Cancer Agency's mobile mammography program.

The coaches will provide breast cancer screening for women at the Musqueam First Nation, as well as communities from Maple Ridge to Merritt, and Osoyoos to the Soda Creek First Nation. 

The province announced the first vehicle last February to reach rural areas on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. 

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer for Canadian women, according to the agency. 

It recommends mammograms for women 40 years and older, every two years. The service is free.

With files from Lisa Johnson