(Shared with permission from BC Cancer)
Meet Ashley Erickson, a mammography technologist at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital.
When she’s not saving lives, Ashley enjoys spending time in nature. She loves camping, exploring the mountains and backcountry, and making the most of the nearby ocean by fishing, kayaking, and appreciating the abundance of sea life.
Ashley graduated from the medical radiography program at the College of New Caledonia, and has been working as a technologist for just over a year.
“I became a mammography technologist because I felt like mammography gave me the ability to build more of a rapport with patients in a one-on-one exam,” she says. “I believe that the screening program is very beneficial for the early detection of breast cancer, and I really wanted to be a part of that process for women in smaller northwest communities.”
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.
“To those who have never had a mammogram, I strongly encourage you to call and make your appointment,” says Ashley. “It only takes about 15 minutes, and patients generally leave the exam saying it was less uncomfortable than they were expecting. The benefits of this short exam can be life-changing.”
“The most rewarding part of my job is the appreciation that I get from so many patients,” she adds. “Women in the northwest are beyond grateful to have a mammography technologist in Prince Rupert to limit the amount of travelling they have to do for such an important exam. They all thank me for being here and I love hearing the stories from our local community. I feel honoured to be such an integral part of the breast screening program and to help encourage women to make positive choices for their overall health and well-being.”
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.