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Breast Cancer Screening Follow-up

Key findings

  • In 2017, over 6,600 Ontario women ages 50 to 74 who had an abnormal Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) screening mammogram result and needed tissue biopsy for a definitive diagnosis were diagnosed within the recommended 7 weeks of their abnormal screening result.
  • That represents approximately 8 out of 10 (78%) women who needed a tissue biopsy after their mammogram. However, Ontario is still below the national target rate of 90%.
  • This indicator has remained steady, between 77% and 80%, since 2014.

Why is this important to Ontarians?

  • For every 200 women screened in the Ontario Breast Screening Program, about 18 are sent for more tests and one will have breast cancer.
  • Not having a timely follow-up can lead to delays in diagnosis and treatment.
  • Waiting for a diagnosis can be stressful. Getting timely follow-up can help lower stress for patients and their families.

See Breast Cancer Screening Follow-up Methodology for technical information.


Report date: December 2018
Data source: Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) Claims History Database (CHDB), Integrated Client Management System (ICMS), Ontario Cancer Registry (OCR), Ontario Registered Persons Database (RPDB), Postal Code Conversion File Plus (PCCF+ version 6D)
Prepared by: Analytics, Cancer Screening, Prevention and Cancer Control, Cancer Care Ontario

Data Table 1: Percentage of Ontario screen-eligible women with an abnormal OBSP screening mammogram result, ages 50 to 74, who needed a tissue biopsy and were diagnosed within 7 weeks of the abnormal screen date, 2014 to 2017
Year Percentage (%)
2014 76.9
2015 79.3
2016 79.6
2017 78


Report date: December 2018
Data source: Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) Claims History Database (CHDB), Integrated Client Management System (ICMS), Ontario Cancer Registry (OCR), Ontario Registered Persons Database (RPDB), Postal Code Conversion File Plus (PCCF+ version 6D)
Prepared by: Analytics, Cancer Screening, Prevention and Cancer Control, Cancer Care Ontario

Results

  • In 2017, 78% of women who needed a tissue biopsy were diagnosed within 7 weeks of their abnormal screening mammogram result; this falls below the national target of 90%.
  • Timely follow-up is consistent across age groups: As in previous years, follow-up (with tissue biopsy) within 7 weeks was similar across age groups in 2017. It was lowest in women ages 50 to 54 (74%) and highest in women ages 70 to 74 (82%).

Opportunities

  • Cancer Care Ontario will continue to monitor timely follow-up of abnormal results and work with regional partners (e.g., regional cancer programs and sites) to improve performance.