Minister Best is One in a Million

    The Ontario Breast Screening Program Celebrates its 1 Millionth Woman

    TORONTO, April 22 /CNW/ - Health Promotion Minister, 50 year old
Margarett Best marked an important milestone for cancer screening today as she
became the 1 millionth woman screened by the Ontario Breast Screening Program
    "Regular breast screening is an important part of taking care of my
health and I encourage all women aged 50 and over to ask their health care
provider if a mammogram is right for them," said the Minister. "The OBSP
provides women in Ontario with mammography services and I want to thank
everyone involved in the program for your efforts and contributions to its
    Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Ontario women. In 2009, it is
projected that 8,700 Ontario women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and
2,100 will die from the disease. In Ontario, it is recommended that women aged
50 and older have a screening mammogram, generally every two years.
    "Since the Program began, the OBSP has provided over 3 million screens to
Ontario women aged 50 and over and has detected over 16,000 cancers, the
majority in early cancer stages," said Terrence Sullivan, president and CEO,
Cancer Care Ontario. "Breast screening saves lives and more women should get
screened and not just for breast cancer. Women should be screened regularly
for cervical cancer and now with ColonCancerCheck, women over 50 should be
screened for colorectal cancer as well."
    "Screening finds breast cancer earlier, and by detecting cancer early
women have more treatment options available to them," said Dr. George Pasut,
vice president, Prevention and Screening, Cancer Care Ontario. "While we know
the mortality rate for women in the target age range with breast cancer is
decreasing, we need to continue to work to reach under-screened populations
and to ensure that services are available to continue to meet the growing
    In 2008, there were just under 1.5 million Ontario women between the ages
of 50-69 potentially eligible to participate in the OBSP. The number of women
in this age group is increasing by approximately 48,000 women each year. Close
to 63 per cent of eligible Ontario women are being screened for breast cancer
with mammograms every two years. This rate has remained reasonably constant
since 2000-2001. The goal of the OBSP is to achieve a 70 per cent
participation rate in Ontario women aged 50-69 by the year 2010, and 90 per
cent by the year 2020.
    The Ontario Breast Screening Program is an organized screening program
that offers important advantages to women. Women with or without a family
physician can be screened through the OBSP. Women can book their own
appointments and are reminded by letter when they are due for their next
    To find an OBSP site, women can call 1-800-668-9304 or use the OBSP
Screening Locations search tool at

    Cancer Care Ontario continually improves cancer services so that fewer
people get cancer and patients receive better care.
    For more information visit:

    Version française disponible

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Lenore Bromley, Sr. Public
Affairs Advisor, Cancer Care Ontario, (416) 971-9800 ext. 3383,; Dipika Damerla, Sr. Communications Adviser,
Minister's Office, Ministry of Health Promotion, (416) 326-8497,

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