By Leslie Savage
If you are among the “1 in 9” women to have breast cancer, you know how important it is to move from diagnosis to treatment. Most women wait 3-4 weeks after a mammogram for further tests, then up to several weeks for biopsy results, then another few weeks or even months before treatment.
Wait times can soon be a thing of the past thanks to a generous donation by Rae Fawcett to the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. Fawcett and her family have been philanthropists for many years, and a recent donation of $1 million to the hospital will fund the Rapid Access Breast Health Clinic, allowing one-trip diagnosis and planning for treatment.
Once this clinic is open, the wait times will reduce significantly. This has particular meaning to patients who live in outlying areas such as Revelstoke. Typically, there’s been one trip to either Kamloops or Vernon for a mammography or ultrasound test, with a biopsy usually scheduled several weeks ahead. Then there’s the nail-biting wait time for results of the biopsy, and, if it’s positive, another week or more before a treatment plan appointment. Usually this means three trips out of town for someone living away from major hospitals.
Dr. Vipal Vedd, Department Head for Royal Inland Hospital Medical Imaging, said at the presentation of the gift on July 7, at RIH, that the time factor will improve. “”You get to see the doctor, come for a mammogram, you get to have your ultrasound, have your biopsy, so you can almost do everything in one day.”
This is great news for women diagnosed with breast cancer. And many thanks to Rae Fawcett.