Health

New digital mammography equipment at Oromocto Public Hospital (09/10/28)

NB 1694

Oct. 28, 2009

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(Multimedia)

OROMOCTO (CNB) - New digital mammography equipment now available at the Oromocto Public Hospital will improve breast cancer screening, Health Minister Mary Schryer announced today.

"As we mark Breast Cancer Awareness month, I am pleased that this new digital mammography unit will allow for the expansion of breast cancer screening services, increase patient access, reduce wait times and improve image quality," said Schryer. "The new equipment replaces aging equipment and will assist with early detection, which is key to reducing the burden of breast cancer in the province."

The Department of Health invested $540,000 toward the purchase of the equipment at the unit, which became operational late last month.

"We are very pleased to have this new digital mammography machine as an addition to the Diagnostic Imaging Department at the Oromocto Public Hospital," said Gary Foley, vice-president, professional services, Horizon Health Network. "The use of full-field digital mammography will dramatically improve patient care in our region by aiding diagnosis, reducing wait times and limiting unnecessary invasive procedures."

Breast cancer is the most common cancer and the second-leading cause of death among women in New Brunswick.

"Screening mammography and clinical breast exams are the most reliable method of detecting breast cancer in its early stages, thereby increasing the chances of successful treatment," said Anne McTiernan-Gamble, executive director of the Canadian Cancer Society, New Brunswick. "Breast cancer mortality rates for Canadian women have fallen more than 30 per cent since 1986, due in part to organized screening programs and early detection."

Women between 50 and 69 have a higher risk of contracting breast cancer than women in other age groups. Regular breast cancer screening examinations (every two years) for women 50 to 69 is recommended to detect breast cancers as early as possible and to reduce mortality.

09/10/28

MEDIA CONTACTS: Sonya Gilks, communications, Department of Health, 506-453-2536; Kathy Beauregard, communications, Horizon Health Network, 506-452-5668.

09/10/28