‘Breast Friends’ bash a path to better cancer screening

Fundraiser at Black Forest a fun way to support breast health and make it easier to detect one of the most common women's cancers.

Sheila Tutty

Sheila Tutty

I’ve heard it many times… I will never get breast cancer.

I, too, was one of those people who did not fit the criteria for someone susceptible to getting breast cancer. Yet I did. And not once, but twice.

That is why it is so very, very important for each and every person out there to be diligent in their own self-examinations as well as regular mammograms.

Here in B.C. we are extremely fortunate that this service is free to us, so there is no reason not to.

More than 400 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every week in Canada and 100 of those will die from it.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer).

Despite this fact, many women are alive and well today because their breast cancer was detected and treated early.

Early detection is the key to survival. The earlier a cancer is found, the better your chances.

Research has shown that women who have regular mammograms are more likely to survive breast cancer.

Early detection may also mean less treatment and less time spent recovering.

It has been proven that breast cancers detected in women who have regular mammograms are on average smaller and more treatable.

The biggest argument I hear for women not getting a mammogram is that it is uncomfortable, or it hurts.

Well, a wonderful solution is well on its way.

The East Kootenay Health Foundation (EKHF) began a fundraising campaign the first week in October to acquire a digital stereotactic mammography unit for the Cranbrook Regional Hospital. This machine has a price tag of one million dollars.

It is faster, which allows for more women to be screened in less time, it shows the image within 10 seconds, and fewer repeat exposures are required.

The digital mammography will also detect more breast tumors in women with dense breasts. And it is way less invasive.

And if the technician finds something, a small biopsy is taken at that time, instead of having to book another appointment.

As anyone who has had cancer knows, the waiting is probably the worst.

In short, this machine will save lives. Which is why it is so important for our community to do as much as we can to get this unit as soon as possible. And here’s a fun way for you to donate:

On Saturday, March 10, we will be holding “Clearly… a Best Friends’ Bash” at the Black Forest Restaurant.

The evening will include a delicious three-course dinner, a fashion show and a silent auction.

The really wonderful thing is that all the models will be breast cancer survivors. These courageous woman have agreed to take part in this fun evening because they know this is very important.

Each and every one of them has survived this horrid disease and want to do what they can to help other women.

They will be modelling designer clothing from Tiffany’s Thredz, Essentials Department Store and Inside Edge Boutique and Sport.

Attendees are encouraged to dress in pink and prizes will be awarded for the best dressed pink.

Advance tickets are $40, and are available at AG Valley Foods, East Kootenay Realty Insurance or from me.

Seating is limited, so make sure to get your tickets soon.

If you would like to donate an item for our auction, or are looking to buy tickets, please feel free to contact me at 250-342-9059 or via email at sheilatutty@telus.net.