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News Release

Women 50 and older are encouraged to have regular mammograms

WHITBY, ON October 13, 2015 - October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Durham Region Health Department is encouraging women 50 and over to get screened regularly for breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in Ontario. 

“Breast cancer screening can detect cancer earlier when there are more treatment options and an improved chance of survival,” explained Brian Dallaway, a public health nurse with the Health Department. “Most cases of breast cancer are found in women 50 and older, and most women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease.”

Women can be screened through the province-wide Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP). Women 50 and older should be screened with mammography every two years. A mammogram is a safe, low-dose x-ray of the breast that looks for changes in the breast.

“Cancer screening is an important part of staying healthy for both men and women and there are often no early warning symptoms of cancer,” said Mr. Dallaway. “This is why screening for cancer should be done even when you feel healthy and have no symptoms.” 

The Health Department encourages men and women to participate in routine regular cancer screening. In addition to mammogram screening for women 50 and older, women 21 or older who have ever been sexually active should have a Pap test every three years. Men and women 50 and older should have a fecal occult blood test every two years, which checks for blood in the stool which may be a sign of cancer.

To learn more about cancer screening visit, or call Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729.

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Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:

Alicia Cowan - Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2952 or

If this information is required in an accessible format, please contact the Accessibility Co-ordinator at 1-800-372-1102 extension 2009.

For more information, please contact Health Department.