One of the most important things you can do for your health is to be up to date with your recommended cancer screenings. Cancer screening is an important part of your routine medical care.
Screening may find cancer at an early stage, in people who do not yet have symptoms and when it is less likely to have spread. When cancer is found early, it may allow for more treatment options and there is a better chance of treating it successfully.
Thousands of men and women in Ontario are alive and healthy today because they got screened. Cancer screening should be done regularly to ensure that cancers can either be prevented or found early.
In Ontario, we currently have three organized screening programs:
The Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP), Ontario Cervical Screening Program (OCSP) and Colon Cancer Check (CCC) are free, high-quality programs that focus on prevention and early detection. The OBSP, OCSP and CCC are programs of Cancer Care Ontario and provide important quality benefits including the ability to:
There is no screening test that is 100% accurate for detecting cancer. While cancer screening tests are effective, they are not perfect. They may miss some cancers, cancers can also develop in between screens (interval cancers), not all cancers found at screening can be cured, and some cancers that screening detects may never become life threatening. For patients meeting the eligibility criteria for Ontario’s organized cancer screening programs, the evidence supports that there are more benefits than harm for screening.
Some people may be considered at higher risk for certain cancers, due to their own personal risk factors (i.e. family history) and may have recommendations above the provincial guidelines. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider about age-appropriate screening and what guidelines are in your best interests.