NGH named as an official Ontario Breast Screening Program Assessment Site
(Pictured left to right: Tanya Hogeveen, Ultrasound Technologist; Patti Mels: Medical Radiation Technologist; and Karen Bushell, Medical Radiation Technologist)
(Wednesday, June 7, 2023) – Norfolk General Hospital (NGH) is pleased to announce it has been named as an official Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) Assessment Site.
OBSP breast assessment sites provide timely, high-quality diagnosis and follow-up for women with abnormal screens. They also provide the information and emotional support screening participants need.
For women in the communities that NGH serves, this means enhanced services for breast health close to home.
“NGH has been offering mammograms to the community for over 40 years, and we are proud to become an official OBSP Assessment Site,” says Dan Hill, Vice President – Finance and Chief Financial Officer. “Evidence shows that an organized screening program can detect cancer earlier, leading to better outcomes for our patients. And patients coming to NGH for a mammogram can expect to be met with the most caring and compassionate teams that will help them throughout the entire process.”
The OBSP is a Cancer Care Ontario program dedicated to providing high-quality routine breast screening services for women ages 50 – 74. Breast screening is the routine examination of a woman’s breasts using mammography to assess breast health and detect early cancer.
It is recommended that women in this age group have a mammogram every two years, as part of their routine medical care, since early detection can result in significant health benefits, including increased treatment options and better survival rates.
“Becoming an OBSP Assessment Site provides our patients with another layer of quality assurance that they are receiving the highest care possible,” said Dr. Naveen Parasu, Chief Radiologist at Norfolk General Hospital. “We know breast cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian women, with one in eight women developing the disease at some time in their life. This program provides women in our community access to mammography services and ensures direct communication of their results.”
Having a mammogram at an OBSP site offers women a number of important benefits, including a reminder letter when it is time to return for the next screening mammogram, notification of screening results for both participants and primary care providers, help to set up extra tests or referrals if needed, and the tracking of participants throughout the screening process.
According to the latest statistics from the Canadian Cancer Society, it is estimated that 28,600 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and that 5,500 Canadian women will die from the disease. Studies have shown that regular mammograms for women aged 50 to 74 years reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer.
“Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, and on average, 15 Canadian women will die from breast cancer every day,” said Carmen Otero, Lead Breast Radiologist for NGH. “It is critical for women aged 50 to 74-years-old to get regular mammograms because screening finds breast cancer earlier when there are more treatment options and an improved chance of survival. We are glad we can offer such a vital service to women in our community close to home”
Women can refer themselves to the program by calling the NGH OBSP direct line to book their screening mammogram at 519-426-4006 or by calling 519-429-6974.
Norfolk General Hospital has maintained a strong relationship with OBSP, providing over 3,600 mammograms last year alone.
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/
Additional patient benefits include:
- The OBSP is accredited by the Canadian Association of Radiologists Mammography Accreditation Program
- OBSP breast assessment sites provide timely, high-quality diagnosis and follow-up for women with abnormal screens. They also provide the information and emotional support screening participants need.
- A physician referral is NOT required, so eligible women who don’t have a primary care provider can book their mammogram and receive the results
- Patients and their physician will receive the results of the mammogram within 2-3 weeks
- If any additional tests are needed, the OBSP Clinic will contact the patient directly to book the appointment(s)
- Reminder letters are sent to patients when they are due for their next screening
- During the 2022/2023 fiscal year, NGH performed over 3,600 Mammograms.
- NGH has been offering mammograms to the community for over 40-years.