Ontario Breast Screening Program
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, women are confronted with many messages about this disease:
· One in nine Canadian women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.
· The risk of breast cancer increases with age; about 75% to 80% of affected women are 50 years or more.
· More than 90% of women with breast cancer have no family history of this disease.
The good news is that more women are now surviving breast cancer.
What can women do to lower their risk? Recent research indicates that regular, vigorous physical activity, maintaining a healthy body weight and limiting alcohol intake may lower the risk of breast cancer. However, the cause of breast cancer is still not known.
The best protection a woman has is to find breast cancer as early as possible when it is most likely to be successfully treated. Breast screening has been shown to reduce mortality when women aged 50 – 69 years are screened at regular intervals. It is a myth that women only need to have one normal mammogram. Regular screening helps detect cancer early, while tumours are small and before they have a chance to spread. This can save lives.
The Ontario Breast Screening Program is an organized program offering high quality mammography at accredited sites. Women aged 50 and over have a two-view mammography and get information on breast self-examination. A specialty trained nurse examiner performs a clinical breast exam. A letter with your results is sent to you within two weeks. When you are due to be screened again, (in 1 to 2 years), a reminder letter is sent so you can call for your next appointment.
Women 50 years and over are invited to call the Ontario Breast Screening Program for their appointment. There are over 100 sites in Ontario offering this free service. In Grey and Bruce Counties, we have two locations. Phone the Owen Sound office at 376-8637 or the Walkerton site at 881-4030.
Encourage your friends and family members to call as well. Early detection of breast cancer could save your life or the life of someone you care about.
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We work with the Grey Bruce community to protect and promote health