• News
  • June 27, 2011

St. Joseph’s Health Care To Offer High Risk Breast Cancer Screening

McGuinty Government Expanding Life-Saving Screening For More Women

Starting July 1, London area women who are at a high risk for breast cancer will have access to services at the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) High Risk Screening Centre at St. Joseph’s Health Care London.

The OBSP High Risk Screening Centre at St. Joseph’s Health Care London will provide women, 30-69 years old who are at high risk for breast cancer, with annual mammography and breast MRI screening as well as follow up services. Genetic centres across the province will provide the genetic services.

Women who think they may be at high risk can visit their doctor or nurse practitioner for a referral to the OBSP. Referrals will be based on specific criteria such as genetics, and family or medical history.

Expanding breast screening is based on the advice of clinical experts and best medical evidence. This move will provide more access to health care services while improving quality and accountability for patients.


“Early detection is one of the best ways to improve patient outcomes and help women beat breast cancer. Through the High Risk Screening Centre at St. Joseph’s Health Care London, our government will provide the gold standard of screening and the highest quality care for women most at risk of developing this terrible disease.”
- Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. MPP for London North Centre

"This is great news for women and families in the London area. This OBSP High Risk Screening Centre at St. Joseph’s will help more women beat breast cancer through early detection."
- Chris Bentley, Attorney General, MPP for London West

“Studies show that early detection of breast cancer saves lives. By expanding the availability of breast screening for women at high risk in London and area, we’re making sure that patients are getting the best care available.”
- Khalil Ramal, MPP for London-Fanshawe

“I’m delighted that this OBSP site has been chosen as a High Risk Screening Centre. We look forward to helping to provide timely and accessible services to women who are at high risk of breast cancer so that they have their best chance of an early diagnosis of breast cancer.”
- Dr. Linda Rabeneck, Vice President of Prevention and Cancer Control, Cancer Care Ontario

 “This is an exciting day for St. Joseph’s and those we serve.  We are pleased to work collaboratively with the South West LHIN and the health ministry on the development of a comprehensive high risk screening program that will be so vital in the battle against cancer.”
- Dr. Gillian Kernaghan, President and CEO, St. Joseph’s Health Care London


-         St. Joseph’s Health Care London is one of the first 19 High Risk Screening Centres in the province.

-         Women who are at high risk (less than one per cent of Ontario females) have a 25 per cent or greater lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.

-         Regular screening, combined with greater self-awareness and improvements in treatment, has been shown to save lives. In fact, deaths from breast cancer have been reduced by up to one third.

-         To date, the OBSP has provided over 3.6 million screens and detected more than 19,000 cancers, the majority in the early stages. These high risk centres will help to provide 90,000 more breast screens over the next three years.

-         Since October 2006, Ontario has funded 35 new cancer drug products, five of which are for breast cancer.


Read about the Ontario Breast Screening Program expansion.

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