Women in their 40s will soon be able to get a mammogram without a referral from a doctor.
Health Minister Sylvia Jones made the announcement this morning in Toronto, saying by the fall of 2024, publicly funded mammograms through the Ontario Breast Screening Program be available for people in their 40s. Research has shown that regular screening, including mammography can help detect breast cancer before it has the chance to spread.
“Nearly 12,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and we know early detection and increased access to care saves lives,” said Jones in a news release.
Jones adds by lowering the age of self-referral for mammograms, eligible Ontarians aged 40-49 who don’t have a primary care provider will be able to connect to screening more easily by self-referring through any Ontario Breast Screening Program site.
Jones expects 305,000 people will be eligible for the screening services and 130,000 mammograms will be completed per year. The 241 centres across the province provide 700,000 mammograms a year right now.