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Breast health program marking 25 years

The Riverside Breast Health Program is celebrating 25 years of service to women of all ages in Rainy River District.

As such, the public is invited to an open house being held tomorrow (Oct. 13) from 2-4 p.m. in the cafeteria at La Verendrye Hospital.

The formal program will start at 2:30 p.m., with cake and coffee to be served.

The Riverside Breast Health Program started in 1985 through the visionary efforts of the late Dr. Audrey Johnstone, Anna Busch, Eva Thornton, and Riverside’s board of directors.

It was the first of its kind in Canada—and it continues today to help women with early detection of breast cancer, seeing more than 300 women each year.

The Riverside Breast Health Program provides breast examinations by trained professionals and mammograms, as required, to women of all ages.

Like the words of Dr. Johnstone at the time, “Breast cancer doesn’t know how old you are.”

These words proved to be the cornerstone of the program and within 10 years of its inception, it registered more than 1,000 women.

Today, there are many breast cancer survivors due to more awareness of early detection methods.

The first mammogram machine and dedicated processor arrived at Riverside in July, 1987 with donated funds from the La Verendrye Hospital Auxiliary.

It was the first in Northwestern Ontario.

In 2001, the Riverside Breast Health Program affiliated with the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) to expand its services.

October is dedicated to Breast Health Awareness, a wellness, prevention, and support approach to dealing with breast cancer.

Locally, the Rainy River District Breast Health Network was formed to plan events for this purpose.

The network helps promote total breast health and encourages women of all ages to book an appointment with the Riverside Breast Health Program by calling 274-1900.

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