Breast cancer awareness promoted with new tool

Breast Cancer Awareness Month. October 2022. (Photo courtesy of Bluewater Health)

Bluewater Health is promoting the use of a new online referral system during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The new platform can be accessed at any time and is meant to make it easier to book breast screening services for those between the ages of 50 and 74.

Once a request is submitted online, a mammography screening is scheduled via email.

“The online booking option is a groundbreaking and exciting new development here in Ontario; Bluewater Health is one of the first in the province to offer this,” said Medical Director of Diagnostic Imaging Dr. Youssef Almalki. “The demographic we are encouraging to book their screenings are much more tech savvy – and now it can be done in the click of a button.”

It’s recommended that women get a baseline mammogram and follow-up screenings every one to two years, depending on their health needs.

In a media release, Dr. Almalki said early detection is key. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer, as of 2020.

“If caught early, the five-year survival rate is close to 100 [per cent]. If breast cancer is caught late, then the survival rate is 23% at five years,” said Almalki.

Bluewater Health has state-of-the-art equipment in order to achieve early detection.

In order to raise awareness, hospital staff will wear pink every Wednesday throughout the month of October.

The hospital’s foundation has also partnered with a local brewery to raise money for mammography at Bluewater Health.

Refined Fool on London Road will participate in the Brews for Breast fundraiser on October 5. From 3 p.m. until 7 p.m., 15 per cent of all food, beverage, and merchandise sales will go to the hospital. There will also be door prizes and 50/50 draws available throughout the day.