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Breast Cancer Screening

What Is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer starts in the cells that line the ducts or the lobule of the breast. There are 2 ways to describe breast cancer:

To learn more about breast cancer, visit the Canadian Cancer SocietyOpens in a new 

Breast Cancer Screening

The goal of breast cancer screening is to detect cancer early and provide treatment. Mammography is currently the recommended test used to detect breast cancer.

It is important to find breast cancer early because:

The Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) - a program administered by Cancer Care Ontario - provides mammography screening for people at average risk of developing breast cancer aged 50 years and older. 
Now, people aged 30-69 who are found to be at high risk for developing breast cancer will also have access to OBSP services including annual mammography and breast MRI screening.

Overview: OBSP

First established in 1990, the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) provides high quality breast cancer screening services to women living in Ontario. It is operated by Cancer Care Ontario and funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

The OBSP currently accepts women who fall into the following two categories:

  1. Persons at average risk of developing breast cancer, age 50 and over.  Evidence shows that regular mammograms for people who are at average risk and 50 years or older, are the most effective way to detect breast cancer early. Average risk means you have no other risk factors simply than being a woman and being older (i.e. 50 and over).

  2. Persons at high risk of developing breast cancer, age 30 to 69.  As of July 1 2011, people in Ontario aged 30 to 69 who are at high risk for breast cancer due to genetic factors or a personal or family history suggestive of hereditary breast cancer can receive an annual breast screening MRI and mammogram through the OBSP.

How to get a mammogram:

Appointment information

If you are between the ages of 50 and 74 in our Family Health Team, you are already a participant of the OBSP.   Letters will be sent to you by the OBSP indicating how and where to book your appointment. After your appointment, follow up letters will be sent to your home indicating the time interval for your next screening date.  Your family doctor will review all results, and a call will be given if any follow up is needed.


You will receive 2 letters from the OBSP. The first letter will prompt you to book either your first appointment, or to book any follow-up appointments. There will be a second reminder letter sent, if you do not book your appointment after receiving the first letter.