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Screening/Early Detection

In honour of Ninon Bourque

What is Cancer Screening?

Finding cancer early can save your life. Cancer screening tests can find pre-cancerous changes or cancer at an early stage when there is a better chance of treating it successfully.  Screening is for people who do not have any cancer symptoms.  Even if you’re feeling well – especially if you’re feeling well - you should participate in regular screening to find cancer before you have symptoms or notice changes in the way you look or feel. 

Don’t be Afraid! Check it out! Check it regularly!  

Most people who participate in screening do not have cancer. Screening gives you peace of mind and allows you to find a cancer you cannot see or feel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I know if a screening test is good?

A:  A good screening test is one that decreases the number of people who die from cancer.  No screening test is 100% accurate. The province of Ontario has excellent screening tests for breast cancer, cervical cancer and colon cancer.

Q: Why do I receive letters from Cancer Care Ontario to get screened?

A:  Cancer Care Ontario sends out letters to individuals to remind them of the importance of getting screened for different types of cancer.  These letters encourage individuals to book their screening tests or discuss cancer screening with their healthcare providers. To learn more about personalized screening letters click here.

Cancer Screening Programs in Ontario

woman with eyes closedThe Ontario Breast Screening Program  encourages women aged 50-74 to get a mammogram every 1-2 years to detect cancer of the breast.

The ColonCancerCheck Program recommends men and women aged 50-74 use at-home stool (poo) tests, called Fecal Occult Blood Tests (FOBT) to detect cancer of the rectum and colon (or bowel). These tests should be performed every 2 years.

The Ontario Cervical Cancer Screening Program encourages women aged 21-69 to get PAP tests every 3 years to detect changes in the cervix.


Determine your Cancer Risk

The MyCancerIQ risk assessment takes 5 minutes to complete and will let you know your cancer risk factors.

Contact Us

Need help accessing cancer screening?

Call the Regional Cancer Screening Program

613-728-6508 ext. 243

toll-free 1-800-465-6226.

Need more health information

Need more health information? Send your health information questions to  We will respond during the next business day.  Learning Services is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

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