(Shared with permission from BC Cancer)
Meet Alicia Fiege, a mammography technologist at Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace.
Alicia has been with the BC Cancer Breast Screening Program for the past three years. She lives in Terrace with her partner and their two dogs, Gauge and Penny. When she’s not saving lives, she enjoys the outdoors and loves to go mountain biking, hiking, and fishing.
Growing up, Alicia always had an interest in the human body and helping people. She knew she wanted to work in health care, but wasn’t sure where she fit. On a trip to Thailand in 2014, Alicia happened to connect with a tour group that contained two x-ray technologists. Inspired by their stories, she began researching the field, and the rest is history!
“The most rewarding part of my job is being able to help people,” she says. “It’s so fulfilling to see people progress through the health care system in a positive way and know that you’ve made an impact for them.”
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in British Columbia. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, and sadly, one in 28 women are expected to die from the disease. Screening mammography is the best test to routinely detect breast cancer and reduce the chance of death for those who don’t have symptoms. Mammograms can find lumps two or three years before you or your health care provider can feel them; finding cancer when it’s small allows for more treatment options and a better chance at recovery.
“Mills Memorial screens many women in nearby communities due to being the only local screening centre in the area,” says Alicia. “For some women, it can mean a really long commute. But it’s important to remember that this is your health. And we’re here to advocate for your health. Just because you don’t have symptoms, or any of the risk factors, it doesn’t always mean there isn’t anything there. I encourage anyone who’s eligible to have a mammogram. It could save your life.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, breast screening continues to be safe and effective. To learn more about the policies and procedures in place to keep patients and staff safe, visit screening bc.