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$2M fundraiser launched to replace Sask. mobile breast cancer screening bus

The wheels were put in motion on Monday to replace a vital piece of medical equipment for women in rural and remote areas of Saskatchewan. 

A 20-year-old bus offering breast cancer screening has come to the end of the road so now there’s an urgency to replace it.

"If we did not have this mobile screening program more women with just not do it. That is a shame," cancer survivor Kelly Rea told CTV News. 

Rea beat cervical cancer and visits this mobile screening bus every time it’s in her home community of Norquay to ensure the cancer hasn’t come back or spread.  This provides her peace of mind and convenience. 

“The mobile screening bus makes it a lot easier for me because I live so far away, in the middle of nowhere basically,” she said.

The bus stops in 40 of those remote areas each year and in a province with a lot of isolated rural areas, it is significant. It means women don’t have to travel long distances to have a mammogram which is a prohibiting factor for some.

Now, the aging bus is taking its final pit stop.

“The bus has been broken down for a few weeks. Parts are difficult to get, supply chain issues make it even harder,” Deb Bulych, Interim CEO, Saskatchewan Cancer Agency said.

As a result, the Cancer Foundation of Saskatchewan and Cancer Agency are hoping to raise $2 million to buy a new bus.

“We know that we need to have the new technology to provide this service to the people of Saskatchewan,” Bulych said.

A quarter of a million mammograms have been delivered on the bus since the beginning and without it, less screening could be the reality. 

“Without the bus, women in remote areas would have to come into the two centres to get their mammograms or other tertiary centers. I hate to think about it. I don’t want to think about it,” Bulych says.

Early detection of breast cancer leads to increased survival rates, and Bulych says, having equal access for all women in the province is vital. 

The goal is to have enough money raised by March to cover the cost of a new bus, and ultimately help save lives. Top Stories

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