Cancer Doesn’t Stop for COVID-19: Don’t Miss the Bus!
by Caitlund Davidson
After spending the winter months in Thunder Bay, the Screen for Life Coach is ready to hit the road into the region this spring starting April 8th. This mobile health screening service visits more than 70 different locations in Northwestern Ontario throughout the year to provide breast, cervical and colon cancer screening.
“Our 2020 remote service season was cut short due to the pandemic, but in 2021 we are looking forward to a full travel schedule,” says Lauren Beach, Mobile Coach Coordinator at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC). “Our team is excited to get back out on the road and serving people across the region. We also want to assure clients that they can access cancer screening safely during the pandemic.”
The Screen for Life Coach’s travel season begins in Dryden and will travel from Wawa to the Manitoba Border, and everywhere in between, including many Indigenous communities. The season goes until November, with some appointments available in Thunder Bay. In Ontario, the cancer screening guidelines for average risk men and women are as follows:
- Women, who are between the ages of 50 and 74 years, should have a mammogram every two years to screen for breast cancer.
- Anyone between 21 and 69 years old with a cervix, who has ever been sexually active, should have a Pap test to screen for cervical cancer every three years.
- Individuals, who are between the ages of 50 and 74 years, who have no first-degree family history of colon cancer, should complete a take-home colon cancer screening kit every two years.
All these cancer screening tests can be accessed on the Screen for Life Coach. Those who are eligible for screening do not require a referral from a health care provider to access services on the Coach. However, an appointment is required.
“Lauren and her team pride themselves on being there for our Northwestern Ontario communities and wants to assure that people know we are coming to them for safe cancer screening,” says Dr. Rhonda Crocker Ellacott, President and CEO at TBRHSC and CEO at Thunder Bay Regional Health Research Institute. “Especially during the pandemic, we are encouraging everyone to stay on top of their health and wellbeing. It’s important to get screened even when you feel healthy and have no symptoms.”
The following measures have been put in place on the Screen for Life Coach to ensure the safety of both clients and staff:
- Clients are required to wear masks while attending their appointment and answer screening questions prior to entrance,
- Staff wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE),
- Appointment times have been extended to allow for thorough cleaning between clients,
- All staff working on the Coach have received there COVID-19 vaccine.
Please book your cancer screening appointment on the Screen for Life Coach by calling 1-800-461-7031 or (807) 684-7777.
To see the complete travel season schedule, visit www.tbrhsc.net/screenforlife or follow us on Facebook by searching for ‘Screen for Life Coach Northwest’.