Nova Scotians will have better access to mammography screening with the addition of three new digital machines in the province, including Canada’s first mobile digital mammography unit. Health Minister Chris d’Entremont travelled to Baddeck today, Tuesday, Oct. 30, for the first stop of the new unit that will visit Cheticamp, Inverness, Neil’s Harbour, and Eskasoni and other rural communities where local women will get mammograms that can be reviewed anywhere in the province. “One in nine women in Nova Scotia will develop breast cancer so it’s critical that we continue to make getting a mammogram an easy process for women regardless of where they live,” said Mr. d’Entremont. The province is investing $2.45 million in three digital machines. The other two are at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital and the Cobequid Community Health Centre in Sackville. Siemens Canada designed the mobile trailer unit being used across Cape Breton. The Atlantic chapter of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation also made a gift of $230,000 toward the purchase of the unit from Cape Breton’s Run for the Cure donations. Mammography screening is one of the first steps to cancer diagnosis and the best way to detect breast cancer at its earliest possible stage. The new unit replaces an older mobile system. “We’re reaching more women closer to where they live and we hope to screen even more women as times goes on,” said Susan MacNeil, coordinator of the Breast Screening Program for the Cape Breton District Health Authority. “Our message is clear. If you’re over the age of 40, consider getting a mammogram.” Digital screening is faster than the use of traditional X-rays and film development. Health-care professionals are able to do 50 per cent more scans in the same time and that will increase Nova Scotia’s capacity. “Combining the innovative design of this trailer with Siemens state-of-the-art digital mammogram technology will greatly improve access detection and treatment of breast cancer for the women of Nova Scotia,” said Andre Dagenais, senior vice-president of Siemens Corporate Sales and Marketing. There are mobile units in Yarmouth and Truro.