New Imaging Equipment is Coming to Women’s

With generous support from the community, urgently needed and life-saving diagnostic equipment for breast cancer screening is planned to arrive at Women’s College Hospital.

With a total cost of $4.1 million, the new equipment represents one of the hospital’s most critical needs. At 14 years old, the Breast Centre’s existing mammography and ultrasound machines are reaching the end of their lifespan and regularly requiring fixes and support –– causing many appointments to be delayed or rescheduled. 

Corwin Burton, Women’s College Hospital’s Clinical Manager of Diagnostic Imaging, says that the equipment is making it challenging for the imaging team to keep up with skyrocketing demand for testing –– especially as women head back to the clinic after breast cancer screening rates in Ontario plummeted by 97 per cent during the pandemic.

“Regular mammogram testing should only take about 15 minutes per patient, but every time a machine stalls, it could potentially delay patient appointments drastically, leading to longer waiting room times,” says Corwin. “This aging equipment is slower than newer machines and can add an additional five minutes to every mammogram appointment. Our priority is to ensure patient safety and get the clearest image.”  

The urgently-needed new machines –– consisting of four mammography machines and four ultrasound machines –– offer leading-edge technology that will significantly advance Women’s College Hospital’s impact as a world leader in breast cancer care. 

“The new machines will allow us to achieve the highest quality images possible in the shortest amount of time while giving our radiologists the best information to make a diagnosis,” says Corwin. 

The team anticipates that with the new machines in place, they will be able to conduct over 6,500 screenings per year, up from the current capacity of 5,400 –– meaning the department’s appointment backlog could be fully addressed in two years instead of five.  

And with one of the ultrasound machines dedicated to research, the arrival of the new equipment will also empower new discoveries in breast cancer imaging and diagnostics that hold the potential to save countless lives. 

With equipment needs not directly supported by government contributions, Women’s College Hospital is relying on funds raised by generous community members to enable the purchase of these state-of-the-art new machines. 

We’re thrilled to share that every dollar donated in support of the equipment will now have double the impact: FDC Foundation, one of Canada’s leading philanthropic foundations, has committed to match up to $2 million in donations towards the purchase of the new mammography and ultrasound machines!

“Even the smallest donation in support of this urgent need will help us acquire these new machines –– a goal that will impact our friends, family, neighbours, and children for many generations to come,” says Corwin. 

Donate today to help us acquire leading-edge diagnostic equipment for the Breast Centre! Your gift will be generously matched by FDC Foundation.

Stacy Zelazny, her husband and their two young children, all pose for a selfie in front of a lush forested area that overlooks a distant. They are all smiling and dressed in hiking gear.
Stacy Zelazny, her husband and their two young children, all pose for a selfie in front of a lush forested area that overlooks a distant. They are all smiling and dressed in hiking gear.

Stacy’s Story

When Stacy Zelazny felt a lump in her breast, she was shocked to learn it was breast cancer. A revolutionary new genetic cancer screening study out of WCH allowed her to get the live-saving answers she needed, and to be as preventative as possible.

Read the article