News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

September 18, 2015

BRANDON RECEIVES FIRST PROVINCIAL DIGITAL MAMMOGRAPHY UNIT: MINISTER BLADY



Brandon is the site of the first provincial digital mammography equipment, which will mean even better health-care services for patients seeking breast cancer detection and diagnosis, Health Minister Sharon Blady announced today.

“This state-of-the-art equipment gives new tools to help provide faster breast cancer detection and diagnosis for Manitoban patients,” said Minister Blady.  “We are committed to investing in even better health-care services closer to home for patients in Brandon and rural Manitoba.”

Digital mammography allows radiologists to view images on a workstation monitor.  This will allow faster sharing of images as they can be stored and shared electronically rather than transferred to film.

“With our partners, we continue to enhance timely access to programs and services for residents of Prairie Mountain Health.  By adding the region’s first digital mammography unit in Brandon, patients will gain faster access to diagnosis and treatment,” said Penny Gilson, chief executive officer, Prairie Mountain Health.  “We remain committed to improving strategies aimed at building a healthier population and creating a quality, integrated and sustainable health system.”

The minister noted the launch of services in Brandon is the first step in the roll-out of an investment of up to $25 million in digital mammography services across the province.  Other sites will receive digital mammography over the next several months and new digital mobile screening vehicles will be introduced.

“By working together, we are better able to move forward and provide the best possible care for Manitobans,” said Jim Slater, chief executive officer, Diagnostic Services Manitoba.  “The steadfast commitment and collaborative efforts of the Digital Mammography Steering Committee tasked to implement this service has resulted in a comprehensive, provincial system for all breast screening and diagnostic procedures across Manitoba.” 

Breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer among women in Manitoba, with almost 900 cases diagnosed each year.  About 90,000 Manitobans have a mammogram every year, with about 50,000 done as screening mammograms through CancerCare Manitoba’s BreastCheck program.

The minister noted this new equipment builds on work to implement Manitoba’s broader $40-million strategy to improve the cancer patient journey, first announced in June 2011.  The goal of this initiative is to shorten the journey from suspicion of cancer as a diagnosis to treatment in less than 60 days. 

Many partners are involved in this work including Manitoba Health, Healthy Living and Seniors, CancerCare Manitoba and the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, Diagnostic Services Manitoba, regional health authorities and Manitoba eHealth.

- 30 -