FAQs

Who is eligible for the Ontario Breast Screening Program?

The OBSP screens two groups of women:

  • Women ages 50 to 74 with no signs of breast cancer
  • Women at high risk for breast cancer, aged 30 to 69 years, who have a referral from their physician, have no symptoms of breast cancer and fall into one of the following risk categories:
    • They have a genetic mutation that puts them at high risk for breast cancer.
    • They have refused genetic testing, but  have a parent, sibling or child with a genetic mutation that puts them at high risk for breast cancer.
    • Their  family history indicates a lifetime risk of breast cancer of 25 percent or more, confirmed through genetic assessment.
    • They received radiation therapy to the chest before age 30 as treatment for another cancer or condition.

What is a mammogram?

A mammogram takes an X-ray picture of the breast and can find changes, even when they are too small for you or your healthcare provider to feel or see.

Why should I have a screening mammogram?

Regular breast cancer screening can find cancer when it is small and easier to treat.

When should I have a mammogram?

  • It’s recommended that women ages 50 to 74 have a mammogram every two years as part of their routine medical care.

What should I do to get ready for a mammogram?

  • Wear a two-piece outfit. You will be asked to remove your top.
  • Do not use deodorants, antiperspirants, body lotions, or talcum powders. Metals in these products can show up on the X-ray picture.

Where should I go to have a mammogram?

There are 25 OBSP sites across the region, including the Mobile Cancer Screening Coach. For the list of locations in the Region, click here.

What does it mean if more tests are needed?

  • Your healthcare provider or the breast screening site will book these tests for you.
  • Most women needing more tests do not have breast cancer

How can I reduce my risk of developing breast cancer?

Visit MyCancerIQ.ca. This free online tool to help you assess your risk and help reduce it.

I am a member of the LGBTQ community. Do I need breast screening?