By Sara Chow
The Screen for Life Coach is on the road again, returning to a full travel season this spring. The mobile health screening service, that provides breast, cervical and colon cancer screening, visits more than 70 different locations throughout the year.
“We are excited to get back on the road for a full travel season this spring,” said Julia Bailey, mobile coach lead at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. “Our clients can expect to receive high-quality health care services in locations from Minaki to Chapleau and everywhere in between, including many Indigenous communities too.”
One thing that is different about the Screen for Life Coach is its new appearance. “Now that the coach is offering men fecal occult blood test (FOBT) kits for colon cancer screening it is important for the look of the service to appeal to everyone who can access our services, no matter what gender, race or age they are” explained Bailey. The new design features the familiar landscape of Northwestern Ontario that all residents can identify with.
The coach increases access to life-saving cancer screening services to help prevent cancer deaths from breast, cervical and colon cancers. In Northwestern Ontario, screening rates need to improve. The Ontario Cancer Screening Performance Report showed that only 62.6 percent of women are up-to-date with breast cancer screening, 60.5 percent are up-to-date on their cervical cancer screening and 44 percent of adults, between the ages of 50 and 74 years, are overdue for colon cancer screening.
“There is certainly room to improve our cancer screening rates,” said Tarja Heiskanen, manager of Screening and Assessment Services at our hospital. “Regular cancer screening can detect cancer in its early stages, when it’s less likely to have spread and easier to treat. We strongly encourage men and women to get screened. It could save your life.” The Screen for Life Coach makes it easier for people in Northwestern Ontario to participate.
According to Ontario’s cancer screening guidelines, women, who are between the ages of 50 and 74 years, should have a breast cancer screening mammogram every 2 years. Women between the ages of 21 and 69 years, who have ever been sexually active, should have a Pap test to screen for cervical cancer every 3 years. Men and women, between the ages of 50 and 74 years who have no first-degree family history of colon cancer, should complete a FOBT kit every 2 years. All of these cancer screening tests are provided by the Screen for Life Coach.
The Screen for Life Coach’s travel season begins on April 8th in Dryden. The season extends through until October, with some appointments available in Thunder Bay as well.
Book your cancer screening appointment on the Screen for Life Coach today by calling 1-800-461-7031 or (807) 684-7777. To see the complete travel season schedule, visit www.tbrhsc.net/screenforlife or follow us on Facebook by searching for Screen for Life Coach Northwest.