Leading cancer services closer to home for the Greater Arnprior community

Linda Gibson considers herself lucky that her breast cancer was detected early, expediting her treatment.

That’s thanks to the connected care that began at Arnprior Regional Health.

“After I had my routine mammogram last year in late August, I got a call back right away that I had dense breasts and I’d need to come back for another mammogram and ultrasound,” explained Linda. “When I was having my ultrasound at ARH, the radiologist came back to talk to me and said that I needed to get biopsied right away.”

Her care team promptly setup a biopsy at Queensway Carleton Hospital.

“It was all very quick, there wasn’t much time to reflect on what was happening,” recalled Linda.

The biopsy confirmed that Linda had a tumour in her breast the size of a freckle.

A couple weeks following the biopsy, Linda, who was 57 years old at the time, had breast surgery followed by radiation.

“I consider myself lucky because it was small, and they got it right away.”

Linda is now cancer-free, and management of her care has been transferred to her family physician locally. She will return to ARH in December for a follow-up mammogram.

“Everybody at ARH cared,” said Linda. “I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

Ontario Breast Screening Program without the need to travel

Local community members, like Linda, benefit from ARH’s accredited Ontario Breast Screening Program for early detection of breast cancer. Because of programs like ARH’s and treatment advancements, there has been a 44% decrease in breast cancer deaths since 1988.

“We are fortunate to be able to provide our community with best practice screening using state-of-the-art digital mammography,” said Vicki Hallas, Manager, Diagnostic Services. “We provide patients with easier access to life-saving diagnostics – without the stress of out-of-town travel.”

The digital mammography machine was purchased in 2012 through the generosity of donor support.

Annually, ARH performs 2,000 mammograms and the team works with referral partners in Ottawa and Pembroke to ensure patients are booked for a timely follow-up biopsy, if needed.