October 7, 2015 5:00 pm
Updated: October 7, 2015 5:16 pm

GoHave1 campaign contributes to 30 per cent increase in mammograms

Global BC is proud to have been part of a campaign that resulted in a big spike in the number of women getting a breast exam. In August, four of our colleagues took part in a campaign, urging women to get tested. And as Grace Ke reports, it worked…thousands of women have come forward.

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The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s GoHave1 campaign has caught the attention of women, contributing to a 30 per cent increase in mammograms in the month of August from 2014.

One of the intentions of the campaign is to mobilize women by promoting the importance – and dispelling the myths – about mammograms. The foundation says one in nine women will be diagnosed with the disease, emphasizing the importance of preventative health measures for women.

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“There’s just this fear of the unknown…and for women over 40 we recommend a mammogram every two years, and it is free. They also don’t need a doctor’s referral, and I think often times there’s confusion about that,” BC/Yukon Executive Director Bernice Scholten says.

It appears the campaign has eased reservations women have about mammograms. The number of procedures jumped to 25,000 this August from 19,000 in August 2014.

WATCH: Several Global BC personalities participated in the GoHave1 campaign this year

Concerns still expressed by women include the amount of discomfort of the procedure and the safety of the machines.

“There is a bit of discomfort, but it’s over so quickly. The technicians are all female, they’re in private rooms and they take their time to make it as comfortable as possible,” Scholten says.

Scholten adds that the machines should not be cause for safety concerns.

“We’ve heard in the past some concern about radiation, but the amount of radiation is so small,” she says.

“You’d get exposed to more radiation taking an airplane than you would having a mammogram. The reality is that mammograms detect tumors two to three years earlier, and the earlier you detect a tumor, the better the outcomes.”

Service announcements in support of early detection caught the attention of 30-year-old Amelia Shams. Cancer has affected Shams’ family, prompting her to take action in regards to her health, despite her age and concerns about the procedure.

“Mammograms can be intimidating and uncomfortable…but regular check-ups are the only way we can take care of ourselves and our bodies,” she says.

Shams adds that now that she knows how easy it is to schedule and have a mammogram in B.C., and she will continue have them as part of her early detection plan.

Further resources and information on mammogram locations can be found at gohave1.com.

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