Rae Fawcett Breast Health Clinic officially opens at RIH

By Chad Klassen
June 22, 2017 - 6:00pm

KAMLOOPS — It's been open and screening for breast cancer for nearly a month now, but on Thursday Royal Inland Hospital officially opened the Rae Fawcett Breast Health Clinic. 

The Fawcett family, in Rae's name, donated $1 million to fund the project. Breast cancer has touched the family with Ron's mother battling the disease. That inspired Rae to go ahead with the idea of this clinic. 

"I guess because we can, but also because my husband's mother had breast cancer many years ago," said Rae Fawcett. "She was in Prince George and ended up taking the train to Vancouver for her surgery and didn't comeback for two months until it was all done."

"So I think it's touched everybody's family. I know it certainly has touched ours. Our daughters have had scares, thinking they were going to have something wrong. But this is really wonderful," Fawcett added.

The clinic has exam rooms, a dianostic imaging room, and takes biopsies if necessary. Everything is done for the patient in one visit with follow-up if needed. 

Dr. Liz Ewart — a breast cancer survior herself — said the clinic will significantly cut down on wait times. 

"So what used to happen is they would get their abnormal screen, then they will get their diagnostic imaging, then they have to see their family doctor, get the results of that, then they'd have to go back on another day. There were lots of delays in the system," said Dr. Ewart. "Now because we're doing everything in one day, we're condensing those procedures into one day, so there aren't those delays."

For Vanessa Worthington, who had a recent breast cancer scare, she said going through the clinic was fast and eased her anxiety about the process. 

"From the time of my very first mammogram, finding out that I needed further testing done, and walking out the door of the Rae Fawcett Breast Health Clinic took a week," said Worthington. "Knowing that if I did have breast cancer, it speeds up the process and the chances of recovery is so much better the earlier you're diagnosed."

"So being able to go through the process quickly, and either knowing that I was ok and be able to seek treatment right away, was really important and way less stressful." 

SSN designates Jacko Lake as heritage site