Breast Cancer Screening

Woman gets screened for breast cancer

Breast cancer remains the most frequently diagnosed cancer in Canadian women, affecting one in nine women in their lifetime. Impossible to see or feel in its early stages, early detection of breast cancer could save you or your loved one’s life.

Regular breast cancer screening can find cancer when it is small, which means:

  • There is a better chance of treating the cancer successfully
  • Treatment may be minimal with less down time
  • It is less likely to spread
  • There may be more treatment options

Regular mammography (breast X-ray) every two years is currently the recommended test used to detect breast cancer for women age 50 and older.

Who should be screened and when?

Women between the ages of 50-74 are at INCREASED risk for breast cancer and should be screened every two years through the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP). This includes women:

  • With no personal history of cancer
  • With no acute symptoms
  • With no breast implants
  • Who have not had a mammogram in the past 11 months

Women between the ages of 30-69 are at HIGH risk, if they have a family, genetic and/or medical history of breast cancer, and should be screened yearly with a mammogram and MRI. If you think you may be at high risk, talk to your doctor about being referred to the Ontario Breast Screening Program’s High Risk screening centre.

What about Breast Cancer in Men?

Less than 1% of breast cancers are found in men. Symptoms of breast cancer are the same in men as they are in women. If there is a history of male breast cancer in your family, speak to your doctor about genetic testing.

What is the Ontario Breast Screening Program?

The Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) is a program of Cancer Care Ontario. The OBSP provides high-quality breast cancer screening for Ontario women aged 50 to 74 years, at no cost.

The OBSP:

  • Provides high quality mammograms in a CAR (Canadian Association of Radiologists) accredited site
  • Sends a result letter in the mail within 10 days after  your appointment
  • Sends a reminder letter when it is time for your next screening mammogram
  • Helps to set up extra tests or referrals if your results suggest that they are needed

Want to book an appointment?

To book a mammogram appointment with the Ontario Breast Screening Program, contact breastscreen@cancercare.on.ca or call toll-free: 1-800-668-9304.
For more information about breast cancer screening visit Cancer Care Ontario’s website.