Home News and Politics Shocking Move by Ontario: New Jaw-Dropping Age Limit for Breast Cancer Screenings to 40!

Shocking Move by Ontario: New Jaw-Dropping Age Limit for Breast Cancer Screenings to 40!

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Shocking Move by Ontario: New Jaw-Dropping Age Limit for Breast Cancer Screenings to 40!

Ontario Lowers Age for Breast Cancer Screenings, Expanding Early Detection

TORONTO — In a move aimed at improving early detection of breast cancer, Ontario has announced the lowering of the age for regular, publicly funded screenings from 50 to 40. Health Minister Sylvia Jones believes this change will have a significant impact on saving lives.

The expansion of breast cancer screenings is expected to result in an additional 130,000 mammograms being completed in the province each year. This decision comes after a draft recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggested that screenings in the United States should start at 40 instead of 50.

Starting in the fall of 2024, eligible women, non-binary individuals, transgender individuals, and two-spirit people between the ages of 40 and 74 will be able to self-refer for a mammogram every two years. This change complements the existing availability of regular mammograms and breast MRIs for individuals between the ages of 30 and 69 who qualify as high risk.

The Ontario Ministry of Health has announced plans to hire new staff at breast cancer screening sites and collaborate with the government to develop a public reporting system, allowing patients to view province-wide wait times. This effort aims to enhance access to care for individuals seeking breast cancer screenings.

“Nearly 12,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and we know early detection and increased access to care saves lives,” stated Health Minister Sylvia Jones. “That is why our government is taking this important step today to expand the Ontario Breast Screening Program and connect an additional one million women to the services they need.”

Improved Access to Life-Saving Screenings

Positive Feedback from Breast Cancer Survivor

Sherry Wilcox, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in her 40s, expressed her support for the age adjustment. She stated, “I am so grateful that, with this announcement, other women may not have to endure the pain of a later diagnosis as I have. Research shows that early detection of breast cancer results in less aggressive therapy and reduced mortality rates – this announcement will save lives.”

A spokesperson for Health Minister Sylvia Jones confirmed that Ontario Health is currently assessing the necessary staffing requirements for the expanded screening program. Funding details for this initiative will be determined at a later date.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

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