Radiologist and Medical Director, Screening Mammography Program, BC Cancer Agency

Hi, my name is Christine and I’m the Medical Director of the BC Cancer Agency’s Screening Mammography Program (SMP), which is a population-based screening program operated by the Agency. The goal of SMP is to reduce breast cancer deaths by finding cancer at an early stage through routine screening.

I’m also a diagnostic radiologist at the BC Cancer Agency, here in Vancouver, where I primarily do breast imaging, as I have done for the past 15 years.

I was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba and grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan, where we moved when I was seven.  I went to medical school in Saskatoon and did most of my residency there, as well as some in Toronto. I decided to specialize in breast imaging because I found it interesting and challenging but more importantly, I was inspired by many of my patients. I have practiced in Saskatchewan, Ontario and British Columbia. I love Western Canada and feel lucky to live in B.C.

I got the opportunity to develop my interest in breast imaging further while in my second position at the University of Toronto at Toronto Western Hospital, where I worked with Dr. Doug MacFarlane– one of the pioneers of breast imaging in Canada. At that time, I also became the Chief Screener for the new Toronto site of the Ontario Breast Screening Program. How things have changed since then! During this part of my career, radiologists were using all film/screen mammography while breast ultrasound started to be used more consistently as a diagnostic tool. After Ontario, I moved to Vancouver and practiced for almost eight years at X-Ray 505 in the Fairmont building, with Drs. Linda Warren and Paula Gordon.  In 1999, I returned to Toronto, to the Princess Margaret Hospital and that’s when things really began to change! The first digital mammogram machine for clinical use in Canada was installed at the Princess Margaret Hospital in September 1999. What a huge leap! 

I really enjoy working at the BC Cancer Agency. It is a very human and humane place to work. I’m impressed by and appreciate the emphasis everyone places on how our patients experience their care and treatment.

I also enjoy my patients. I’m often touched by their gratitude, given the challenges most of them are facing.

I’ll continue next week with more on our work at both the BC Cancer Agency and the Screening Mammography Program. There are lots of exciting things happening- stay tuned!

For more information on the program, please visit www.screeningbc.ca/breast.

Sincerely,
Christine Wilson