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Cancer Care Ontario is Inviting Eligible Women to Get Screened for Early Signs of Breast Cancer
 
Posted on 2015/10/01

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Cancer Care Ontario, in partnership with its Regional Cancer Programs, is inviting women aged 50 to 54 to ‘Just Book It’ by scheduling a mammogram appointment today. Breast cancer screening is available for women aged 50 to 74, but the 50 to 54 age group has the largest number of screen-eligible women who have not yet had a mammogram.

In 2015, an estimated 9,800 Ontario women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 1,900 women will die of the disease. The average mammogram screening takes just five minutes to book and less than 10 minutes to complete.

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian women with one in nine women expected to be diagnosed with it in their lifetime,” said Dr. Linda Rabeneck, Vice President, Prevention and Cancer Control at Cancer Care Ontario. “Early detection of breast cancer through mammogram screenings means there’s a better chance of treating it successfully. That is why we are inviting eligible women aged 50 to 54 to start screening sooner rather than later.”

To increase screening participation, Cancer Care Ontario has chosen Oct. 21 as the provincial Day of the Mammogram, but eligible women are encouraged to book a mammogram at any time by calling 1-800-668-9304. No referral from a doctor is required.

A mammogram is a special X-ray machine that takes a picture of the breast and detects any changes that have occurred, even those too small for the average person to feel or see. In 2014, Cancer Care Ontario began sending letters to eligible women inviting them to book their mammogram. After their initial mammogram, eligible women will continue to receive letters from Cancer Care Ontario to remind them when they are due back for their next screening.

“A key part of our government’s Patients First strategy is to support people and patients by providing the education and information they need to make the right decisions about their health,” said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. “Regular screening can help detect pre-cancerous changes or cancer at an early stage, and for average-risk women aged 50 to 74, breast cancer screening is free of charge through the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP).”

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 signs of 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 eligible women in this age group should 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 Ontario’s High Risk Breast Screening Program based on their family or medical history.

Eligible women can schedule their mammogram appointments at any OBSP site. For more information about OBSP or to find an OBSP site, call 1-800-668-9304 or visit www.cancercare.on.ca/justbookit.

Follow Cancer Care Ontario on Twitter and Facebook and join the conversation using the hashtag #JustBookIt.

About Cancer Care Ontario:

Cancer Care Ontario – a division of CCO and the Ontario government’s principal cancer advisor – plays an important role in equipping health professionals, organizations and policy-makers with the most up-to-date cancer knowledge and tools to prevent cancer and deliver high quality patient care. It does this by collecting and analyzing data about cancer services and combining it with evidence and research that is shared with the healthcare community in the form of guidelines and standards. It also monitors and measures the performance of the cancer system, and oversees a funding and governance model that ties funding to performance, making healthcare providers more accountable and ensuring value for investments in the system. Cancer Care Ontario actively engages people with cancer and their families in the design, delivery and evaluation of Ontario’s cancer system, and shares CCO’s mission of working together to improve the performance of Ontario’s cancer system by driving quality, accountability, innovation and value.

For more information, please contact:

Cancer Care Ontario
Phone: 1.855.460.2646
Email: media@cancercare.on.ca

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Last modified: Thu, Mar 16, 2017
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