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Province to issue cancer test reminders

Ontario residents will be prompted, when their time comes, to be screened for various cancers under the province’s new five-year plan to combat the disease.

Ontario residents will be prompted, when their time comes, to be screened for various cancers under the province’s new five-year plan to combat the disease.

As well, anyone wishing to know their individual cancer risks will be able to access online questionnaires that can plot their relative chance of acquiring some of the most common forms of the ailment.

“We’re going to do a bunch of important things to advance cancer services, building on what we’ve done to date,” said Terry Sullivan, president and CEO of Cancer Care Ontario, which oversees and co-ordinates Ontario cancer services.

For one, the new plan will access the provincial health database and prompt anyone who hits 50 to schedule appropriate cancer screenings. The mailed reminders would be accompanied by electronic tracking to ensure that positive tests were being followed up with appropriate treatments.

“If you had a test and it was positive and you didn’t follow up, we would prompt you and we would prompt your family doctor that you needed to be,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan says negative tests would be tracked, and everyone would be alerted about screening results. Patients successfully treated for cancers will also be reminded to do follow-up screening over the coming years, and prompts for repeatable tests like mammograms will also be issued.

The plan will also give residents an electronic means to assess their own cancer risks and offer advice.

 
 
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