Skip to main content

Am I at High Risk

In honour of Ninon Bourque

High Risk Screening

Sometimes due to family history or personal health history, you might be considered at high risk for a particular cancer.  It is very important to share your family history with your doctor and discuss your risk factors.  Both the ColonCancerCheck and Ontario Breast Screening Programs have recommendations for individuals at High Risk of breast and colorectal cancer.

Are you at high risk for breast cancer?

You are considered to have a higher risk for breast cancer if:

  • You have a significant family history or personal history of breast and/or ovarian cancer;
  • You have a family history or personal history of breast cancer detected at or before 35 years of age;
  • You are the first degree relative of (parent, child or sibling) or are yourself, the carrier of a genetic mutation linked to breast cancer;
  • You received radiation therapy to the chest prior to age 30 and more than 8 years ago.

If any of the above apply to you, consider High Risk Breast Screening.


Are you at high risk for colorectal cancer?

If you have a first degree relative that has been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, you should talk to your family doctor about colorectal cancer screening with colonoscopy.  You should start screening 10 years before the age of the family member when they were diagnosed or when you turn 50, whichever comes first. 

For example if your mother was diagnosed at age 52, you should start screening colonoscopy at 42.   However, if your mother was diagnosed at 65, you should still start screening colonoscopy at age 50.