ST. CATHARINES (Nov.14, 2017) –Starting this month, the Mobile Cancer Screening Coach will offer free cancer screening services at two St. Catharines locations. The Coach has been offering cancer screening at the Quest Community Health Centre (CHC) since July. It will now also offer services at Start Me Up Niagara’s Gale Crescent location.
Services are for residents who are under or never screened, meaning they are eligible for free cancer screening programs but have never taken part or they participated once and didn’t return. Eligibility for screening is based on age, gender, personal and family health histories.
This 45-foot-long bus is equipped with a state-of-the-art digital mammography suite and private exam room, and is staffed by a team of Regional Cancer Program registered nurses, medical radiation technologists and a booking clerk.
Mammograms are available for women ages 50 to 74 through the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) and Pap tests for women ages 21 to 69 through the Ontario Cervical Screening Program (OCSP).
The Coach’s registered nurses can distribute an easy take-home test through the province’s ColonCancerCheck program that screens for signs of colon cancer. The Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) is recommended for men and women, ages 50 to 74, with no symptoms or close family history of colon cancer. Smoking cessation referrals for screening-age clients are also offered.
The Coach has been serving under and never screened residents in Hamilton since 2013. It also serves the Six Nations of the Grand River and Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation Reserves. Expansion to St. Catharines took place in July, in collaboration with community partners including the Niagara Health System, Niagara Region Public Health, Niagara’s CHCs, Wellspring Niagara and the Indigenous Health Network as part of a broader regional plan to improve cancer screening rates in the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant LHIN.
The Coach complements existing cancer screening services in Niagara including six OBSP screening sites, three OBSP assessment sites, three hospitals offering endoscopy services as part of ColonCancerCheck, as well as access to Pap tests and the FOBT through local healthcare providers.
The Coach visits St. Catharines two days per month, and its schedule can be found at https://hnhbscreenforlife.ca/schedule/