City supports new mammography equipment

The Health Foundation is undertaking raising funds for new state of the art digital mammography equipment with tomosynthesis capability for the regional hospital in Yorkton

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This will be the first equipment of its kind in Saskatchewan; we will be setting the new standard for the province, explained Foundation executive director Ross Fisher at the regular meeting of Yorkton Council Monday.

Fisher attended the meeting to ask the City to consider a donation of $5,000 to help bring this new technology to the regional hospital in Yorkton.

The equipment will have a cost of just over $500,000, but the technology is proven to diagnose cancer earlier and more accurately. It will save lives, explained Fisher.

Fisher further detailed in a letter to Council, “Tomosynthesis is a key step forward in breast cancer detection technology. It will save live. It will detect cancers that our existing equipment cannot, and it will detect other cancers and lesions earlier than our current mammography equipment.

“The purchase of this equipment is also necessary to continue the breast screening program here in east central Saskatchewan. The breast screening program in Yorkton is busy, averaging over 5,000 women annually. At present, the only proven method of reducing breast cancer deaths is early detection. That is why breast screening is conducted.”

The issue with breast cancer detection is that some women have denser breast tissue than others. Dense tissue can block the test or obscure the image created by breast screening. With tomosynthesis tissue density does not matter, an accurate diagnosis is provided.

For women, breast cancer is the most common non-skin cancer and the second leading cause of cancer related death. One-in-eight women will contract breast cancer in their lifetime. One-in-27 women die from breast cancer.

Fisher said the Foundation is approaching the municipalities in this area to make a contribution as this equipment will obviously affect all families, adding it is hoped municipal support will spearhead the fundraising effort.

While Councillor Aaron Kienle noted he felt some concern in setting precedent in making such a donation, he and the rest of Council were unanimous in making the requested donation.

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