Just Book Your Breast Cancer Screening Appointment: 5 Minutes Could Save Your Life

Just Book It Poste

Just book it! October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – a perfect time for a reminder to schedule mammogram appointments. Prevention and Screening Services at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, in partnership with Cancer Care Ontario, invites eligible women to ‘Just Book It’.

The Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) found that women aged 50 to 54 make up the largest number of screen-eligible women who have not yet had a mammogram.

“Early detection of breast cancer through mammogram screenings means there’s a better chance of treating it successfully,” said Dr. Linda Rabeneck, Vice-President, Prevention and Cancer Control at Cancer Care Ontario. “In 2015, an estimated 9,800 Ontario women were diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 1,900 women died of the disease. That’s why we are inviting eligible women to start screening sooner rather than later.”

Are you eligible for a mammogram? Here’s why you should ‘Just Book It’ today:

  1. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Ontario women with one in eight women expected to be diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime.
  2. The average mammogram screening takes five minutes to book.
  3. Breast cancer has one of the highest survival rates when compared to other cancers.
  4. Mammograms are still one of the best and most reliable ways to detect breast cancer early on.
  5. The OBSP offers important benefits for women, including appropriate and timely follow-up of abnormal findings and ongoing quality monitoring and management.

“Breast cancer occurs primarily in women 50 to 74 years of age, so now is the time for women on the younger end of this age range, from 50 to 54, to not only start thinking about screening for breast cancer, but to start booking their regular mammograms,” said Crystal Davey, Regional Aboriginal Cancer Lead with Prevention and Screening Services at the Health Sciences Centre and Cancer Care Ontario.

A mammogram is a low-dose X-ray of the breast that is used for screening. A mammogram is administered by a registered medical radiation technologist, and involves a plastic plate that is slowly pressed down to flatten the breast and hold it in place for a few seconds. The patient will feel some pressure on the breast, but this pressure will not harm breast tissue. Mammograms are free of charge to Ontario women who are eligible to be screened.

The following groups of women are eligible for a mammogram through the OBSP:

  • Women aged 50 to 74 years who are at average risk for breast cancer. Women are considered eligible for the average risk program if they show no acute breast cancer symptoms, have no personal history of breast cancer, have no current breast implants and have not had a mammogram within the last 11 months. It is recommended that most eligible women get screened every two years.
  • Women aged 30 to 69 years who are identified as being at high risk for breast cancer. Starting at age 30, women who may be at high risk for breast cancer can be referred by their healthcare provider to the OBSP High Risk Screening Program based on their family or medical history.

“In Northwestern Ontario, women have access to six OBSP sites, including: Lake of the Woods District Hospital in Kenora, Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre in Sioux Lookout, Riverside Health Care in Fort Frances, Thunder Bay Diagnostics in Thunder Bay, the Linda Buchan Centre at the Health Sciences Centre in Thunder Bay, and the Screen for Life Coach that travels across the region,” explains Davey. “Don’t put your cancer screening off, book it today.”

Eligible women are encouraged to book a mammogram at any time by calling (807) 684-7777 or 1-800-461-7031. No referral from a doctor is required. More information can be found at http://bit.ly/bcscreening2016.

Sara Chow
Health Promotion & Communications Planner
Prevention & Screening Services
Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
(807) 684-6716