Provincial Screening Guidelines
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Provincial Screening Guidelines

Why I screen for cancer


When is it time to screen for cancer? Check out the Time to Screen Tool to fill out your gender, age, and family history to learn.

Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP)

Ontario Cervical Screening Program (OCSP)

ColonCancerCheck (CCC)

Average Risk: Women aged 50 to 74 should get a mammogram every two years.

To book an appointment, your healthcare provider can refer you, or you can self-refer by calling a breast screening site. Visit or call 1-800-668-9304 to find the location closest to you.

High Risk: Those with a family history of breast cancer or a genetic mutation in their family may be considered to be at high risk.

Talk to your healthcare provider about your family and medical history. You may be referred to a high risk breast cancer screening centre between the ages of 30 and 69 for an annual mammogram and MRI.

Starting at 21, women who are or have ever been sexually active should have a Pap test every three years. If you are not sexually active, cervical cancer screening can start after your first sexual experience. If abnormal cells are found, your cervical cancer screening plan will change.

You can stop having Pap tests at age 70 if you have had three or more normal tests in the last 10 years.

Men and women 50 to 74 should get screened for colon cancer.

Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT): Complete a FOBT every two years if you do not have a family history of colon cancer. This test checks for small amounts of blood in the stool. Ask your healthcare provider about getting a kit. For average risk individuals, if you have had a colonoscopy with normal results, you do not need to be screened for another 10 years.

Colonoscopy: Your healthcare provider may refer you for a colonoscopy if you have a family history of colon cancer or a positive FOBT result. If a parent, brother, sister or child has had colon cancer, have a colonoscopy at age 50, or 10 years earlier than their family member's age at diagnosis (whichever occurs first). This exam can also remove tissue overgrowths (polyps) that could be pre-cancerous.

Want a simple Screening Card that outlines the Provincial Cancer Screening Guidelines?

Click Here for screening cards.Multiple languages available.

You can also check out our latest edition of ScreenZine for patient stories, prevention tips and get your top screening questions

Southlake Regional Health Centre
596 Davis Drive, Newmarket, Ontario   L3Y 2P9
Tel: 905-895-4521   |   TTY: 905-952-3062
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