When I first began working as a technologist in breast cancer screening mammography, I was stunned to learn that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. I was also surprised to discover how many women don’t know the benefits of mammograms, or avoid them because they believe the procedure is painful.
I really enjoy educating women on the importance of screening, whether they are family and friends, or women who come in for a mammogram.
Screening mammography saves lives. It has led to a 25 per cent reduction in deaths from breast cancer in Canada. The technology we use can detect breast cancer long before a woman is aware of anything going on in her breast. Detecting breast cancer at an early stage can make a big difference in a woman’s diagnosis, breast surgery and treatment.
The part of my job I enjoy the most is making the screening experience as comfortable and easy as possible. I love it when a patient leaves saying, “wow, that was way easier than I expected and I am going to tell my friends to get their mammograms done, too.”
As technologists we work hard to obtain good images to assess breast tissue but also to leave a positive impact on a patient so they will return for future mammograms.
Working in mammography has led me to be aware of changes within in my own body and to encourage the women around me to do the same.
B.C’s screening mammography program is an excellent resource for all women and we need to take advantage of it.
Interested in a career in mammography? Check us out!