Bluewater Health screening site for high-risk breast cancer patients

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Bluewater Health is celebrating its designation as a screening site for high-risk patients.

High-risk patients are those aged 30 to 69 with no acute breast symptoms, are known to have a gene mutation that increases their breast cancer risk, or are first degree relatives with someone who has a mutation.

Medical Director of Diagnostic Imaging Dr. Youssef Almalki said one in eight women will get breast cancer in their lifetime, and 86 per cent of them don’t have a family history of the disease.

“Our goal for October is to get as many ladies who haven’t been screened before or who have forgotten to get screened, who have missed their appointments for any reason, to kind of remember to get their screening done and hopefully catch cancers earlier and have better outcomes for ladies in our community.”

Dr. Almalki said the average mammogram takes about five minutes to book and less than 10 minutes to complete.

Breast cancer is the single leading cause of cancer death in women under age 60. If caught early, the five-year survival rate is close to 100 per cent, but that drops to 23 per cent if caught late.

He said 99 per cent of breast cancer cases are in women, but men can also be affected in rare cases.

Women should get a ‘baseline’ mammogram and have follow-up mammograms every one to two years depending on their unique health needs.

They can call Bluewater Health at 519-464-4515 to book an appointment.

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