Breast Cancer Awareness Month Profile: Michelle Opaski, Screen For Life Coach

Michelle Opaski, a Mammographer on the Screen For Life Coach.

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we’re highlighting staff at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre who play a vital role in the breast cancer journey. From cancer screening to cancer treatment, there are hundreds of caring professionals that you will meet along the way. Today, we’re sharing a Q & A from Michelle Opaski, a Mammographer on the Screen For Life Coach.

Describe your role for us.

I am a Mammographer on the Screen For Life coach where my role is to take high quality breast images for cancer screening.

What does it take to be a Mammographer?

To be a Mammographer you would need to have a degree or diploma in Medical Radiologic Technology as well as specialty certificate in Breast Imaging.

What is unique about your role?

I travel throughout Northwestern Ontario to bring cancer screening services to remote, rural and Indigenous communities. In this position, I have an amazing opportunity to educate people in our region about the importance of cancer screening. I am fortunate to have a career that is rewarding both professionally and personally.

What inspired you to work in cancer care?

I have always been inspired to help others. Working in cancer care gives me a chance to make a difference in someone else’s life, whether it is to perform a high quality cancer screening exam or to make someone smile when they are having a tough day.

How does your role impact patient care?

Many women come to our coach and are nervous or anxious about their mammogram. I like to take the time to chat with them about their concerns and answer any questions they may have. I try to provide a friendly, calm, and comfortable environment for all of my clients.