Premier and Health Minister Unveil Two New Mobile Breast Cancer Screening Vans in Gimli and Winnipeg

News Release – Manitoba
March 8, 2011

$140,000 Project Will Support Mammogram Services in 80 Manitoba Communities

Manitoba women will have improved access to breast cancer screening with the replacement of two mobile breast cancer screening vans, Premier Greg Selinger announced in Winnipeg today while Health Minister Theresa Oswald unveiled the second new van in Gimli.The province will fund 50 per cent of the $140,000 initiative, with the balance donated by the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation.

“Our government is committed to ensuring that all Manitobans have access to timely screening, diagnosis and treatment. This program helps us find breast cancer at an early stage, giving women more treatment choices and a better chance for a cure,” said Selinger. “Clinical trials show that breast cancer screening can decrease mortality by 25 per cent and our new mobile units will continue to ensure provincewide access to this vital service.”

The new vans are larger with increased storage capability and heavier suspension and axle stabilizers that allow for a safer, more dependable journey on rural and northern roads.

The vans transport staff, X-ray equipment and supplies to more than 80 communities in the province. The X-ray equipment is set up in clinics, community centres or hospitals, where technologists perform the mammograms.

“It is especially fitting that we’re announcing this essential investment in women’s health today as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day,” said Oswald.

“The Manitoba Breast Cancer Screening Program, which was recently renamed Breast Check, has played a crucial role in educating women provincewide about the benefits of regular screening and early detection,” said Dr. Dhali Dhaliwal, president and chief executive officer, CancerCare Manitoba. “With our new, easier to remember name, we will continue to provide trustworthy service to women both in Winnipeg and across more than 80 locations throughout Manitoba.”

“It’s wonderful to partner with the province on this very important initiative,” said CancerCare Manitoba Foundation executive director Annitta Stenning. “The foundation purchased one of the mobile vans through the incredible support of the Breast Cancer Pledge Ride. We are grateful for their unwavering commitment over the past decade, which has raised more than $300,000 for CancerCare Manitoba.”

“Over the past 10 years, we are proud to have made a profound impact on ourselves and in our community,” said Georgette Jhass, chair of the pledge ride.

Breast Checkprovides 50,000 mammograms each year for women aged 50 and over including 14,000 women tested with the mobile equipment. Since the screening program began in 1995, 2,679 cancers have been detected, with 709 of the women diagnosed attending a mobile location.

Over the next three months, the new vans will visit Gimli, Steinbach, St. Pierre, Niverville, Ile des Chenes, Crystal City, Swan Lake, St. Claude, Lorette, Altona, Boissevain, Vita, Emerson, Rossburn, Minnedosa and the Mature Women’s Centre at the Victoria Hospital in Winnipeg.

Breast cancer screening is available free of charge to Manitoba women aged 50 and over. To book an appointment, call 788-8000 or 1-800-903-9290 (toll-free). For more information, visit the provincial government website at www.manitoba.caor

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