October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Waterloo Wellington Regional Cancer Program (WWRCP), in partnership with Cancer Care Ontario, is encouraging women between the ages of 50 and 74 to participate in the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) and be screened regularly with a mammogram.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Ontario women. It is estimated that about one in eight Ontario women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
In Waterloo Wellington approximately 36 per cent of eligible women are not up to date with breast cancer screening. This means there are still many eligible women between the ages of 50 and 74 who could benefit from regular breast cancer screening.
Dr. Samantha Fienberg, regional breast imaging lead for the WWRCP, reminds women that the OBSP offers many benefits to women. “Women aged 50 to 74 can schedule their mammogram at any of the 12 screening sites in our region. No referral is required.”
Once participating in OBSP women receive result letters in the mail following their screening and reminder letters when they are due for their next screening.
WWRCP, in partnership with the OBSP, provides high-quality breast screening to women who are at:
- average risk for breast cancer, between 50 and 74 and are screened every two years with mammography.
- high risk for breast cancer, between 30 to 69 and are screened once a year with a mammogram and breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
“Since 1990, there has been a considerable decrease in the death rate from breast cancer in women ages 50 to 74,” said Dr. Linda Rabeneck, vice president, prevention and cancer control at Cancer Care Ontario. “This decrease is likely due to improvements in breast cancer treatment and more women getting screened with mammograms. Although mammograms are not perfect tests, getting screened for breast cancer regularly can find cancer early when it may be smaller and easier to treat.”
To learn more about cancer screening, visit www.grhosp.on.ca/cancerscreening