Kingston Health Sciences Centre warning of breast cancer screening backlog

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Kingston Health Sciences Centre warning of breast cancer screening backlog
WATCH: Kingston Health Sciences Centre is warning that southeastern Ontario is seeing a significant backlog in sometimes lifesaving breast cancer screening due to the pandemic – Oct 20, 2022

Local health officials are reporting another concerning side effect of the pandemic-related lockdowns.

There’s been a serious lag in breast cancer screenings in southeastern Ontario.

Kingston Health Sciences Centre is making it known that Kingston, Ont., is among many other areas that have experienced a decline in breast cancer screenings throughout the pandemic.

In a news release, KHSC said that, along with people who were overdue for a mammogram before the pandemic, an additional 11,500 people have been added to the backlog in our region as a direct result of it.

Read more: Kingston Health Sciences Centre unveils new breast imaging centre

“That means 11,500 women who were due for the mammogram have not come back to screen,” said Dr. Doris Jabs, with KHSC.

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The ripple effect of the backlog can create a fairly serious situation.

According to Dr. Jabs, many women are well overdue to get their screenings which, much like prostate exams for men, are on a set schedule once you qualify.

“Women are screened bi-annually, that means every two years, between the ages of 50 to 74 through the program,” she said.

The cause for concern in this case, according to Dr. Jabs, is that beating breast cancer is often predicated on it being caught in the early stages, often before you begin to feel the effects of the cancer.

Read more: Kingston, Ont. hospital says breast screening numbers down since pandemic

“So, we know that the earlier we can detect cancer in our population, the better chance there is of survival and the better chance there is of curing the disease,” she added.

In March of this year, Kingston Health Sciences Centre opened a brand-new breast imaging clinic in the city’s east end.

Dr. Jabs says the clinic has to allowed KHSC to screen women at a much higher rate.

She said that you don’t need a doctor recommendation to book an examination, you just need to call the imaging clinic if you’re eligible.


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