Breast cancer receives an amazing amount of attention in October–it’s not easy to avoid messages about the importance of breast screening.
However, only half of all eligible women in Northwestern Ontario have regular mammograms through the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP).
A new challenge from the OBSP-Northwest aims to change that.
On Monday, Oct. 26, the OBSP-Northwest will host a full day of drop-in breast screening appointments at all of its affiliate sites in Northwestern Ontario.
This includes the mammography department at La Verendrye Hospital in Fort Frances, where they will be doing booked appointments and walk-ins from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
“This will be our first-ever, 12-hour drop-in breast screening day in what we are calling the ‘150 Over 50 Challenge,’” said Lori Della Vedova, manager of cancer screening, Regional Cancer Care.
“Our goal is to provide 150 mammograms in one day to women who have never been screened by the OBSP,” she noted.
“This type of campaign was very successful in Sudbury last year, so we are hoping to achieve the same result.
“Because women can simply drop in to any of our screening locations on Oct. 26, we’re hoping to reach women who have put off making their first breast screening appointment,” Vedova added.
“After their first screen, they become a client of the OBSP and we send them reminders every one-two years to come back for another mammogram.”
In addition to the drop-in option, first-time clients also can call the OBSP to book an appointment for Oct. 26 or call by Nov. 13 to book a future appointment.
All participating women will be eligible for a $100 gift card draw.
“I applaud Regional Cancer Care for taking this active role in promoting breast cancer screening and encourage all women over 50 to please take it seriously,” said Glenn Craig, president and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation.
“As a partner, we are proud to help provide greater access to breast cancer screening for women in Northwestern Ontario.
“Gifts to the Northern Cancer Fund of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation help fund life-saving breast cancer screening programs in our community, including the OBSP Mobile Coach and the Linda Buchan Centre for Breast Screening and Assessment,” Craig added.
To make an appointment, women can call the OBSP-Northwest toll-free at 1-800-461-7031.