FAQs

Who can go to the Screen for Life Coach?

The Screen for Life Mobile Coach offers breast screening to women* between the ages of 50 and 74, cervical screening to women* 21 to 69 years of age, and colorectal screening for both men and women between the ages of 50 and 74.

Our target population is those who have not been screened before or are behind on their screening; however anyone that may experience barriers to screening is welcome to visit the Coach. Barriers can include living in poverty, not having childcare, identifying as LGBTQ, not having access to transportation, not speaking English, etc. All you need to visit the Coach is a health card.

*the term “women” is used to describe the screening guidelines for the cisgender population. For information about the screening guidelines for trans people please refer to the FAQs below.

How can I book an appointment or find out more information?

You do not need an appointment to visit the Screen for Life Mobile Coach but if you would like to book your FREE screening test on the Coach or to find out more information, please call: 1-855-338-3131 or 905-975-4467.

What can I expect when I come to the coach?

When you visit the Coach you will be greeted by the receptionist who will make you feel right at home. You will be asked to provide your health card by the receptionist. You will then meet with a nurse who will complete a cancer risk assessment with you to determine which cancer screening tests you need. The nurse will then let you know which tests you should have and explain what they are. It is your decision whether to have screening done.

Why is there a Screen for Life Mobile Coach?

The goal of the Coach is to improve access to cancer screening for those who may experience barriers. The Coach visits communities where screening rates are low and partners with local organizations to reach people who may not be getting screened regularly.

How will I receive my results from screenings I receive?

You will receive your results in the mail if no follow-up testing is needed. If you need a follow-up appointment, a healthcare professional called a nurse navigator will call you to make an appointment. You healthcare provider (ie family doctor, nurse practitioner) will also receive a letter informing them of your results from your cancer screening test and you may follow up with them if needed.

Will my healthcare provider get mad that I visited the Screen for Life Mobile Coach for screening?

We are working to provide support and help to healthcare providers in the community by providing screening to patients that may not be able to access screening for any number of reasons. If you decide to visit the Coach for screening your healthcare provider will receive the results and be notified that you have participated in screening. Your healthcare provider will not be penalized for any screening tests that you receive while on the Coach.

I do not have a healthcare provider; can I visit the Screen for Life Mobile Coach?

Yes. You can come to the Coach for your cancer screening if you do not have a family doctor. We will make sure that you receive the necessary follow-up. We will also help you to find a healthcare provider that is accessible based on where you live.

I do not speak English; can I visit the Screen for Life Mobile Coach?

Yes. The Coach has translation services that we can use to speak with you in your language.

I do not have a health card; can I visit the Screen for Life Mobile Coach?

You have to have a valid Ontario health card to get cancer screening on the Coach. If you do not have a health card because you have lost it, you can apply to have it replaced at Service Ontario. For more information on how to get a new health card please click here.

I have limited mobility; can I visit the Screen for Life Mobile Coach?

Yes. The Coach is wheelchair accessible. If you are able to transfer yourself from your wheelchair by holding onto railings, you can visit the Coach for cancer screening. If you are not able to move without the assistance of your wheelchair we encourage you to visit your healthcare provider as a more detailed exam is recommended.

I am a newcomer; can I visit the Screen for Life Mobile Coach?

Yes. If you are a newcomer, and you have a health card, you can visit the Coach for cancer screening. We have translation services if you do not speak English and we can help you to find a healthcare provider if you do not already have one. If you would like to watch a video about screening that was made for newcomers, click here.

I am First Nations, Inuit or Métis (FNIM); can I visit the Screen for Life Mobile Coach?

Yes. The team of healthcare professionals who work on the Coach have all received FNIM training and are all culturally competent. You can receive your cancer screening on the Coach at any of our locations or you can come see us when we visit Six Nations or New Credit. We also have an Aboriginal Navigator who will help you if any follow-up tests are needed after you get screened. To learn more about the Aboriginal Navigator, click here.

I am Transgender; can I visit the Screen for Life Mobile Coach?

Yes, you can visit the Coach for your cancer screening. At the Coach we offer a non-judgemental and friendly environment to everyone who needs screening. If you have questions about screening or you aren’t sure which tests you should be getting, you can visit our nurse for a Cancer Risk Assessment and she will tell you which tests you need based on you anatomy. All you need is a health card to visit the Coach.

I am Transfeminine; what screening tests do I need?

Breast Screening

  • Taking gender-affirming hormones (like estrogen) for more than five years increases your risk of developing breast cancer. If you’ve taken hormones for more than five years, and you’re between the ages of 50 and 74, you should get a mammogram (or other screening test) every two years.
  • If you’re a trans woman who has never taken gender-affirming hormones (like estrogen), or if you’ve taken hormones for fewer than five years, then you do not need to be screened regularly for breast cancer.
  • Breast implants do not increase your cancer risk. But if you’ve had implants and you have also taken gender-affirming hormones for more than five years, then you need to be screened regularly between the ages of 50 and 74. You can still have a mammogram with implants, but you’ll need a special type of mammogram, called a diagnostic mammogram. Please speak to your healthcare provider about getting a referral for a mammogram.

Colorectal Screening

  • Screening for colorectal cancer begins at the age of 50, for anyone who does not have symptoms or a family history of colon cancer. Screening is done with a simple at-home test called the Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT). It’s also commonly called the ‘Poop Test’ because it involves collecting tiny samples of fecal matter which are tested in a lab for signs of colorectal cancer.
  • If you have a family history of colon cancer then you should start screening 10 years earlier than the age your family member was diagnosed. This means if your parent was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 55, you should start screening at 45 years old. The test that is used to screen for colon cancer for those at higher risk is a colonoscopy.

For more information on colorectal screening please visit.

Cervical Screening

  • If you’re a trans woman who has not had any type of bottom surgery, you don’t need to be screened for cervical cancer.
  • If you’ve had a vaginoplasty that included the creation of a cervix, you should get regular Pap tests if you are age 21 and over, and sexually active. This type of bottom surgery is very rare.
  • If you had a vaginoplasty that didn’t include the creation of the cervix, you may have a very small risk of developing cancer in the tissues of your neo-vagina. Your risk may be higher if you have a history of HPV infections or a suppressed immune system. You should talk to your healthcare provider to understand your specific cancer screening needs as part of your overall pelvic health following surgery.
  • In some cases, a test similar to a Pap test called a “vault smear” or “cuff smear” can be used to look for abnormal or precancerous changes to your neo-vagina. These tests are not as effective as Pap tests in detecting cancer. You and your healthcare provider should decide together whether you should get these tests, based on your individual risk.

For more information about screening for trans people please visit the Canadian Cancer Society’s Get Screened webpage.

I am Transmasculine; what screening tests do I need?

Chest Screening

  • If you’re a trans guy aged 50 to 74, it’s important to get screened for cancer in the chest area. This means finding cancer before there are any symptoms by getting a mammogram every two years. Even if you have had top surgery, you still need to monitor the health of your chest tissue.

Colorectal Screening

  • Screening for colorectal cancer begins at the age of 50, for anyone who does not have symptoms or a family history of colon cancer. Screening is done with a simple at-home test called Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT). It’s also commonly called the ‘Poop Test’ because it involves collecting tiny samples of fecal matter which are tested in a lab for signs of colorectal cancer.
  • If you have a family history of colon cancer then you should start screening 10 years earlier than the age your family member was diagnosed. This means if your parent was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 55, you should start screening at 45 years old. The test that is used to screen for colon cancer for those at higher risk is a colonoscopy.
  • For more information on colorectal screening please visit.

Cervical Screening

  • If you’re a trans guy age 21 or older whohas ever had sex— with anyone — then you need to get screened for cervical cancer if you have a cervix. Screening means finding cancer before there are any noticeable symptoms by getting a Pap test every three years. Regular screening is the best way of preventing cervical cancer or finding it early, when treatment is most effective. Anyone with a cervix can get cervical cancer. The good news is that a simple, three-minute Pap test can find signs of cervical cancer early, when it’s easier to treat and beat.

For more information about screening for trans people please visit the Canadian Cancer Society’s Get Screened webpage.