The Screen for Life Coach: A One Stop Cancer Screening Shop
by Caitlund Davidson
As you drive around Thunder Bay this winter, you may spot a unique looking blue and white mobile coach parked at various locations around the city. This is the Screen for Life Coach. Inside it contains a mammography unit and a nursing room, designed to offer breast, cervical and colon cancer screening in one convenient location.
Each year, the Coach travels to more than 75 different locations across Northwestern Ontario bringing cancer screening services closer to home. From April to October, the Coach travels to communities between Chapleau and the Manitoba border and as far North as Red Lake and Pickle Lake. Throughout the winter months, the Coach returns home and parks in various locations around Thunder Bay.
The Coach offers three cancer screening programs to residents in Northwestern Ontario:
- Ontario Breast Screening Program: Women aged 50 to 74 years should have a mammogram every two years. A mammogram is the recommended method for detecting breast cancer.
- Ontario Cervical Screening Program: Anyone with a cervix, aged 25 to 69 years, who has ever been sexually active, should complete a Pap test every three years to screen for cervical cancer.
- ColonCancerCheck Program: Anyone aged 50 to 74 years with no family history of colon cancer should complete a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) kit every two years to screen for colon cancer.
Cancer screening is for eligible individuals who don’t have any symptoms, allowing you the chance to be proactive with your health. The earlier you detect cancer, the more treatable it can be.
The staff on the Coach work in teams of two; there is one Medical Radiation Technologist (MRT) and one Registered Nurse (RN). The MRT performs the breast cancer screening mammograms. The RN provides cervical cancer screening through a Pap test and coordinates colon cancer screening by completing a requisition for a Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) kit that can later be done by the patient at home.
The Coach is a one-stop shop to get all your screening done at once! If you are at average risk and are within the recommended screening age range, you don’t need a primary care provider referral to visit the Coach. All appointments can be booked by calling (807) 684-7777. Morning, afternoon, evening, and weekend appointment times are available.
Take the time to talk to your primary care provider about your cancer screening options or visit www.tbrhsc.net/cancerscreening to learn more about how to book your cancer screening appointment and take care of your health this winter.