Cancer Screening During COVID-19: What You Need to Know
(January 27, 2022)

What is cancer screening?

Cancer screening tests help find cancer early when you are feeling well and before you start to feel symptoms. Cancer screening is important because cancer is easier to treat when it is found early.
There are 3 free cancer screening programs in Ontario for breast, cervical and colon cancers. You can find out more about what tests are right for you at

Can I still get screened during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes! Although the Government of Ontario recently re-instated Directive #2 that allows hospitals and other providers to delay some non-urgent services if needed, most hospitals, clinics and primary care providers in our area are continuing to provide cancer screening services.

The Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Regional Cancer Program recommends that you attend your scheduled cancer screening appointment or that you book an appointment if it is time for you to get screened.

Where can I get screened?


Is it safe for me to attend a screening appointment?

It is normal to be concerned about attending a medical appointment at this time. Clinics and hospitals have measures in place to make sure that your visit is safe.

What are my next steps?

  1. Get screened if you are due. Early detection is key! Screening is especially important if you are high risk, have never been screened, or have had a screening test in the past that needed follow-up.
  2. Attend your appointment. If you need to cancel or change your appointment, give as much notice as possible so that your time can be given to another person who is waiting. If you don’t know if your appointment has been changed due to the pandemic, call the site or provider to ask.
  3. Check out the hospital or clinic website before your visit so that you know what to expect. There may be tools, like online COVID-19 screening, that you can do before your appointment to avoid line-ups.
  4. Practice patience. It may take longer than usual for your call to be returned due to changes in staffing to respond to the pandemic. Your call is important and will be returned as soon as possible.