FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Breast Cancer Society of Canada is fundraising in the Peace region for a new breast cancer screening method.

This new test aims to eliminate mammograms and instead tests blood samples for antigens to detect cancerous cells.

“By getting rid of  invasive mammograms we’re actually able to limit chemo and radiation [and we’re] able to make a treatment plan long before the mass develops,” said Amythyst Lanteigne with the BCSC.

Lanteigne says the new test would also allow for more advanced results compared to traditional mammograms.

“It’s a little bit more specific. As for a mammogram, you’re able to just diagnose the fact that they have breast cancer. But there are actually over 50 different types of breast cancer alone. We’re able to pinpoint the specific type of breast cancer and the stage at which they’re at right off the bat. That’s kind of also what’s helping us to limit the use of chemo and radiation,” Lanteigne explained.

Many women over forty won’t go in for yearly mammograms either due to the invasive nature of the procedure or negative experiences during the exam.

Lanteigne says that if individuals don’t get diagnosed, survival rates decrease.

When initially announced, it was estimated that this testing method would be available in three to five years. However, that deadline has been shortened thanks to tireless fundraising efforts.

“We’ve actually been able to cut that down to less than two years, as it’s already in the fifth clinical trial, and we’re just kind of pushing for it to get out,” Lateigne said.

The society will be fundraising at Canadian Tire in FSJ between 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday and at Save On Foods in Dawson Creek on Thursday.

To learn more about the new test or to donate online, click here.