Decked out in every shade of pink shirts, skirts, pants, scarves, hats and more, staff at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) got their pink on today to help raise awareness about the importance of breast screening for early detection of breast cancer.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian women, affecting one in nine women in their lifetime. However, only half of eligible women across Ontario, including Northwestern Ontario, participate in breast screening mammography. Breast cancer screening aims to detect cancer as early as possible, before symptoms appear. Studies show that regular mammograms for women aged 50 to 74 years can reduce deaths from breast cancer by 21 percent.

“Screening finds breast cancer earlier, when there are more treatment options and an improved chance of survival,” says Dr. Mark Henderson, executive vice-president, patient services and regional vice-president, Cancer Care Ontario. “With appropriate screening and early detection the number of breast cancer survivors can only increase. We encourage all eligible women in Ontario to take control of their health and get screened.”

The Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) is a province-wide, organized breast screening program that provides high-quality breast cancer screening to women. The OBSP recommends that women aged 50 to 74 have a screening mammogram every two years. Women aged 30 to 69 who have been identified as being at high risk for breast cancer should talk to their healthcare provider about additional screening opportunities. Women aged 50 to 74 who have no breast problems can call the OBSP to make their own appointment. Women do not need a referral from a primary care provider. To book a mammogram call 1-800-461-7031 toll-free in Northwestern Ontario or in Thunder Bay call 684-7777.

Women should see their family doctor or nurse practitioner to discuss what breast cancer screening option is appropriate for them. Find out more information about TBRHSC’s Screen for Life Coach cancer screening services, and even have a virtual tour of the coach, by visiting