BC Cancer’s mobile mammography unit will be back in Vanderhoof this September. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

BC Cancer’s mobile mammography unit will be back in Vanderhoof this September. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

BC Cancer mobile mammography unit stops in Vanderhoof and area

Service to continue visiting rural, remote and Indigenous communities across Northern B.C.

Cancer screening services were provided to Vanderhoof residents earlier in June.

Nearly 160 appointments were booked as BC Cancer visited the district in its vibrantly purple, blue and white colored mobile mammography unit June 18-23.

“The unit visits Vanderhoof every fall and spring,” said a BC Cancer spokesperson.

Some cancer screening services were temporarily suspended last March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. A modified schedule and enhanced safety precautions were designed in an effort to reduce risk of transmission, however, these precautions allowed mobile mammography services to resume in June 2020.

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Those measures included operating under a modified schedule limiting travel between communities, sending letters to patients reminding them of the new safety guidelines and symptom check at the time of booking. Technicians also wore additional personal protective equipment, and patients were asked to wear masks.

Only one patient at a time was allowed inside the unit that was subsequently cleaned extensively following the appointment.

BC Cancer estimates the mobile mammography service performs about 10 per cent of the total number of screening mammograms in the province by visiting more than 170 non-Indigenous and Indigenous rural communities annually.

The mobile mammography unit has been travelling to the Vanderhoof region since 1998 and also makes stops at Saik’uz, Nadleh Whut’en, Stellat’en and Witset First Nations.

“The unit will be returning to the area September 21-23 and may stop again later in the year,” the BC Cancer spokesperson added.

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