Throughout the COVID pandemic, many services were stopped, or changed, to protect the health and wellness of all. This included our breast and cervical screening services which were paused to limit the spread of illness.
We know that one in eight cis gender women (women whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth) will experience breast cancer in their lifetime. We also know that transgender people (a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex) are medically underserved and less up-to-date with cancer screening than cis gender women. The lives of our community members are very important to us. We want to share some information about how we are ensuring those that are at high risk are seen first, and working to schedule clients who had their breast screening appointments postponed or are due for an appointment.
Important for all individuals: if you have any new symptoms such as; feel or see any changes to your breast or chest such as a lump you can feel, dimpling (like an orange peel), a pulled in nipple, or discharge (liquid) from your nipple, and/or redness/rash or skin changes, please contact your family doctor. They can ensure you are connected with tests and support in a timely manner.
Many of our regional average risk and high risk breast screening sites are reviewing and calling individuals. If you have not yet received a call, and you were cancelled or due for a mammogram, feel free to contact the site of your previous test.
For the High Risk Ontario Breast Screening program, staff will prioritize clients by identifying and contacting:
1. Those who are in the highest risk category based on the factors below to book an mammogram and MRI:
- Have a confirmed gene mutation
- Have had chest radiation before
- Are younger than 40 years of age
- Had denser breast tissue reported on a previous mammogram
2. Those who are in the high risk program and don’t have the factors above may have only a mammogram scheduled this year.
OBSP sites have made many changes to ensure the safety of all, including staggering appointments and making changes to physical spaces to support physical distancing, providing health screenings and masks, and limiting visitors. If you have any questions about breast or cervical screening programs and services, please contact us the Regional Cancer Program at firstname.lastname@example.org.