October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Natalie Sveinsson is the Stanton Breast Screening Program Booking Coordinator. For nearly 12 years, she has been working to help improve awareness and enhance breast screening accessibility in the NWT.
Over the years, her position and the program have grown to accommodate more staff and increase the types of services offered. Her team not only manages the Stanton Breast Screening Program as they also book diagnostic mammograms and breast ultrasounds. “We’re here for you if you’re looking to book a routine screening appointment or need a diagnostic work-up.”
“I feel it is highly important to have an organized breast screening program that women can access. Once enrolled you will receive result letters and recall letters by mail. If you require additional imaging after your mammogram we will contact you to schedule those exams. I think people really appreciate the letters and getting that reminder, as life is busy and we can often forget these things.”
Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women in Canada with approximately 78 women diagnosed daily across the country. It is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in NWT women. It is recommended for women aged 50 – 74 to be screened every two years and for those aged 40 – 49, it is recommended they speak with their health care provider about screening, especially if there is a family history of breast cancer. Screening helps detect any signs or symptoms before the patient is able to feel them. Mammography machines are currently located in Yellowknife, Inuvik, and Hay River.
“In this job you have to have compassion. Sometimes you are dealing with people who may be scared or nervous for a variety of reasons. I always try my best to assist them and answer any questions they might have.”
Born and raised in Yellowknife, Natalie and her family enjoy being involved in the community and the variety of activities the North has to offer. “I have a husband, two amazing kids and multiple pets! I enjoy going to our cabin, paddle boarding, dog sledding and gymnastics. I love the North and being within arm’s reach of nature. I feel very privileged to live here and raise my children in such a beautiful place.”
“It is important to know your breasts and to contact your doctor if you notice any changes. If breast cancer is found early it improves the chances of successful treatment.”
Learn about breast cancer screening and how to get screened at: https://www.cancernwt.ca/services/screening-and-early-detection/breast-cancer-screening