An Important Reminder: Book your Mammogram with the Ontario Breast Screening Program
Norfolk General Hospital (NGH) would like to remind women to talk to their family doctor or nurse practitioner about getting checked for Breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian women, with one in eight women developing the disease at some time in their life. The good news is that early diagnosis with mammographic screening and improvements in treatment have significantly improved survival. In fact, women who attend breast screening programs in Canada have a 40 per cent improvement in mortality compared to those who are not screened.
Early diagnosis increases chance of survival
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, approximately 27,700 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in Canada in 2021 and there were an estimated 5,400 deaths from the disease. Many deaths were due to advanced breast cancer in women who were not screened or in patients who delayed seeing their doctor when they felt a lump. Many of those deaths could have been prevented.
The size of breast cancer when it is diagnosed remains one of the most important factors in long-term survival. Most small cancers are curable, do not require mastectomies and frequently do not require chemotherapy. Mammography is the single best test to diagnose breast cancer when it is small and less apt to have spread outside the breast.
A mammogram is a safe and effective x-ray technique to image the breast. The radiation exposure at Norfolk General Hospital is very low. During the examination a special device is used to compress or flatten your breast. This helps to spread out the dense tissue of your breast and provide a clearer image with much less radiation.
The importance of booking a Mammogram
The Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) is a free province-wide cancer screening program that aims to reduce the chance of dying from breast cancer.
The OBSP offers free mammograms to people ages 50 to 74 as part of their routine health care. It’s recommended that most women in this age group get a mammogram every two years since early detection can catch breast cancer when it’s small and is easier to treat. A referral is not necessary, although appointments can also be booked through a person’s primary care provider.
Ontario women aged 30 to 69 can get screened through the High-Risk OBSP if they have a referral from their doctor, a valid Ontario Health Insurance Plan number, and no acute breast symptoms,
To learn more about our Mammogram program at NGH, please click here: https://www.ngh.on.ca/mammogram/