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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Breast Cancer

Did you know? Over 80% of breast cancers occur in women 50 years of age and older. The following information will help you understand who should be screened and where you can receive breast cancer screening.


  • Jen’s StoryJen’s Story
    Jen’s story reminds us that it’s important to talk about our health. Read her story and learn about her journey towards making the decision to have a double mastectomy as a preventative measure for breast cancer:

Breast Cancer Screening

Who should be screened?

  • Women 30-69 years of age who have a family history of breast cancer or genetic link to breast cancer.
  • Women 50-74 years of age at average risk.
  • Regular mammogram (x ray of your breasts) can find breast cancer early when it’s small and easier to treat.


How effective are screening mammograms?

  • Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early. But, they are not perfect. They may miss some cancers. Also, some cancers develop in the interval between screens. However, many studies have shown that regular mammograms reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer.
  • Some cancers that appear on a mammogram may never progress to the point where a woman has symptoms during her lifetime. Therefore, some women may have surgery or treatment for a breast cancer that would never have been life threatening.
  • Not all cancers found at screening can be cured.

Where can I get breast cancer screening done?

  • If you are younger than age 50 but you are at risk for breast cancer because you have a family history or a genetic link to breast cancer, see your doctor who can refer you to the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) or a Breast Screening Centre.
  • Women 50-74 years of age at average risk can make an appointment with the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP). Find a location near you from Cancer Care Ontario Screening Site Locations.
  • Women 75 years of age and older who decide to be screened in the OBSP must be referred by their primary care provider.
  • Find a Breast Screening Centre near you from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care: Breast Screening Centre Locations.
  • If you do not have a doctor, contact the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care: Health Care Connect or call 1-800-445-1822.

Do you have more questions?

Visit the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care: Breast Cancer Screening Questions.

Date of creation: December 24, 2012
Last modified on: May 2, 2017


1Middlesex London Health Status Resource. (2012). Key Findings. Retrieved from
2Cancer Care Ontario (2012). Breast Cancer Screening. Retrieved from
3Ministry of Long-Term Care. (2011). Breast Cancer Screening. Retrieved from
4Cancer Care Ontario (2014). Breast Cancer Screening: Mammograms. Retrieved from