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Ontario Providing Better Tools For Cancer Screening

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Ontario Providing Better Tools For Cancer Screening

McGuinty Government Keeping Ontario Families Healthy

Ministry of Health

Ontario is integrating screening reminders for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer into one co-ordinated system, improving cancer screening outreach for Ontarians.

The province supports screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer through mammograms, Pap tests and a simple take-home test for anyone aged 50 to 74 with no history of colorectal cancer.  Starting in early 2013, a co-ordinated system for all three cancers will mail screening reminders to patients as well as follow-up letters.

To help Ontarians learn more about cancer screening, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Deb Matthews, will host a live online Ask an Expert event on Nov. 19, at 7 p.m.  People are invited to submit their questions in advance at ontario.ca/screenforlife. Questions will be answered at the event by a panel of cancer screening experts.

Expanding cancer screening programs helps to keep Ontarians healthy and receiving the right care at the right time in the right place is a key part of the McGuinty government's Action Plan for Health Care.

Quick Facts

  • Evidence shows that regular screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer is effective in detecting cancer at early stages.
  • In July 2011, the Ontario Breast Screening Program was expanded to include screening for women aged 30 to 69 at high risk for breast cancer through yearly mammograms and MRIs.
  • Ontario provides the online Time to Screen Tool so people can find out when to start screening, and talk to their family health care provider about how to get screened.
  • Cancer Care Ontario is leading the development of an online Personalized Cancer Risk Profile, which will use medical and family history to measure cancer risk and link those at higher risk to prevention supports, screening or genetic testing. The online profile is expected to be available in 2014.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Cancer screening is easy and saves lives. Even if you are a healthy adult with no signs of illness, it’s important to be screened for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer, because it can help prevent cancer or detect signs of the disease before you show any symptoms.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Time is a key factor in successfully treating all types of cancer. We know that the sooner we find cancer, the better the chances are for a full recovery. Screening saves lives and that is why it’s so crucial for people to make screening a priority and find out the right time to screen.”

Dr. Michael Sherar

President and CEO, Cancer Care Ontario

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Health and Wellness