Breast cancer screening and prevention
What you need to know about breast cancer, including when and where you should get screened and tips to help reduce your risk.
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Why you should screen
When breast cancer is caught early:
- most women (90%) recover fully after treatment
- your cancer is less likely to spread
- you may have more options for treating your cancer
Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early. If you need treatment, your doctor will discuss options with you.
When you should screen
Breast cancer can happen at any age. In most cases, it occurs in women over the age of 50.
Use the tool to find out when you should get screened for breast cancer.
Where to go for screening
Ontario Breast Screening Program
Ontario offers a free screening program to help protect women from cancer. This program is run by Cancer Care Ontario. This program is for:
- all women aged 50 to 74 years
- women between the ages of 30 to 69 who are considered to be high risk
The service is covered by OHIP. You don’t need a doctor’s referral.
Hospitals and private health clinics
You must have a referral from a doctor.
Use the tool and enter your postal code to see wait times for surgery, MRIs and CTs in your area.
OHIP pays for screening at a publicly funded Ontario hospital or clinic if you’re either:
- referred by a doctor
- a member of the Ontario Breast Cancer Screening program
You pay for screening at a private clinic.
Tips to reduce your risk
- maintain a healthy body weight
- stay active
- reduce alcohol intake
- don’t smoke
- limit your time on hormone replacement therapy
- discuss any changes with your family doctor or nurse practitioner
- most importantly, get screened