Celebrating 30 Years of the Ontario Breast Screening Program

Screen for Life Coach
Each year, the Coach travels to more than 75 different locations across Northwestern Ontario bringing cancer screening services closer to home.

July 17th, 2020 marks 30 years since the first Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) screening mammogram was completed. The success and continuation of the OBSP is a testament to the collaborative efforts of OBSP team members across Ontario.

The past 30 years have seen a significant decrease in the breast cancer mortality rate among Ontario women. This decrease is due to improved treatments as well as increased participation in breast screening through the OBSP. From the start of the program until 2019, more than 9.1 million mammograms were performed on about 2.2 million women ages 50 to 74 and more than 48,000 breast cancers were diagnosed.

Here in Northwestern Ontario, one option to access the OBSP is the Screen for Life Coach.

“I am extremely pleased that the Screen for Life Coach is now ready to hit the road,” said Katherine Mayer, Coordinator for the Screen for Life Coach at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. “Despite a delayed launch and limited capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coach will continue to provide important cancer screening services for the people of our region.”

In addition to breast cancer screening, the Screen for Life Coach provides access to cervical and colon cancer screening services. Those whose appointments were canceled due to the pandemic are welcome schedule a visit by calling 1-807-684-7777 or 1-800-461-7031.

For the health and safety of staff who work on the Coach, this season’s travel schedule will be limited to the following locations:

  • Dryden in August;
  • Marathon in September to early October;
  • Atikokan, Geraldton and Nipigon in October to early November;

People who live outside of Thunder Bay and the communities noted above are encouraged to travel to the coach, or to schedule an appointment at an alternate OBSP site in the region:

  • Fort Frances – 807-274-4808;
  • Kenora – 807-684-7777;
  • Sioux Lookout – 807-737-6579;
  • Thunder Bay – Thunder Bay Diagnostics 683-4411;
  • Linda Buchan Centre at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre – 807-684-7777.