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Minister Matthews Statement on Mammography in Ontario

Archived Statement

Minister Matthews Statement on Mammography in Ontario

Ministry of Health

Today, Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, made the following statement regarding the release of a new study on mammography screening technology:

A new peer-reviewed study by Cancer Care Ontario senior scientist Dr. Anna Chiarelli,   published today in the journal Radiology, shows that direct radiography (DR) mammograms and screen-film mammograms are better at detecting breast cancer than computed radiography (CR) mammograms. CR mammography is used for approximately 20 per cent of mammograms in Ontario.

Ontario is committed to being a world leader in cancer care, which is why our government is making changes based on this new information and the advice of our experts. With the support of health care providers, Ontario will phase out CR devices across Ontario over the coming months.

To support this transition, our government is making a $25 million investment to replace all CR devices with new DR devices to ensure women continue to get the most effective screening for breast cancer using the best technology available. Cancer Care Ontario has issued a request for proposals to procure new DR devices and clinics will also be able to choose to purchase replacements on their own. We will work with health care providers to ensure the best possible care for women over the transition period, and co-ordinate the replacement of CR devices to ensure that care needs are met.

I want women to know that regular mammograms remain the best way to detect breast cancer, and that the chance of having an undiagnosed cancer using CR technology is extremely low. Women with questions about how the changes affect them are encouraged to contact the site where they were last screened, their primary health care provider, or Cancer Care Ontario."

Quick Facts

  • In Ontario, 88 per cent of women are alive and well five years after the diagnosis of breast cancer.
  • A list of all sites that offer breast mammography is available at www.cancercare.on.ca/mammogram.
  • Women can also contact Cancer Care Ontario at 1-800-668-9304 for more information.

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