Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in Ontario women. It can be hard to see or feel, which is why Ontario Health - Cancer Care Ontario recommends that women have their breasts screened using mammography. A mammogram is an X-ray of your breast tissue and is the best screening test available to detect breast cancer early.
The Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) is the provincial breast cancer screening program that oversees breast cancer screening for women between the ages of 50 and 74 years. All OBSP sites must meet provincial quality and performance standards.
Benefits of being screened as part of the OBSP include:
- A letter inviting women to participate in screening.
- A letter notifying participants and health care providers of screening results
- A reminder letter telling you when it is time to return for your next mammogram. Usually this is every two years. Women over the age of 73 do not receive a reminder, but they can continue to be screened through the OBSP with a requisition from their health care provider.
- Help to set up extra tests or referrals if your results suggest that they are needed.
- Tracking participants throughout screening process.
- High-quality mammograms at sites accredited by the Canadian Association of Radiologists.
- Well-developed quality assurance processes.
- Continuous evaluation of the program’s quality and performance.
When to get screened for breast cancer?
The OBSP recommends that women at average risk should get a regular breast screening mammogram every two years if they:
- Are between 50 and 74 years of age
- Are Ontario residents
- Have no acute breast symptoms
- Have no personal history of breast cancer
- Have no current breast implants
- Have not had a mammogram in the past 11 months
Women at high risk for breast cancer
Some women are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer, and they require annual screening. Speak to your health care provider about the right screening for you. Follow this link for more information about the provincial OBSP High Risk Program
Where can you get screened?
Breast Cancer Screening Facts
- More than 80% of breast cancers are found in women over 50 years of age.
- Most women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history.
- Cancer screening finds cancer earlier, when it is easier to treat.
- The Screen for Life Coach offers breast, cervical, and colon cancer screening services.
- The Screen for Life Coach visits over 75 different locations throughout Northwestern Ontario