THUNDER BAY – HEALTH – The Screen for Life Coach is on the road again, returning to a full travel season for 2019. The mobile health screening service visits more than 70 different locations in Northwestern Ontario throughout the year to provide breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening.
Lauren Beach, Mobile Coach Lead at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, is preparing for the upcoming travel season. “We are excited to get the Coach back on the road! Our team of registered nurses and medical radiation technologists look forward to providing high-quality health care services, and seeing some familiar faces in the region,” said Beach.
The Coach increases access for people living in Northwestern Ontario, however many are still not being screened for cancer. In fact, approximately 40% of eligible people in our region are overdue for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening. “Cancer screening is testing done on people who may be at risk of getting cancer, but who have no symptoms and generally feel fine,” explained Beach. “Regular screening is important because it can find early changes that could lead to cancer.”
In Ontario, the cancer screening guidelines for average-risk men and women are as follows:
- Women, who are between the ages of 50 and 74 years, should have a mammogram every two years to screen for breast cancer.
- 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 three years.
- Men and women, between the ages of 50 and 74 years who have no first-degree family history of colorectal cancer, should complete a take-home colorectal cancer screening kit every two years.
All of these cancer screening tests are provided on the Screen for Life Coach. No physician referral is required to access the services offered on the Screen for Life Coach, however, an appointment is recommended. Regular cancer screening can detect cancer in its early stages when it is less likely to have spread and is easier to treat.
The Coach travels from Wawa to the Manitoba border, and everywhere in between, including many First Nation communities. In some cases, the Coach may be in a community more than once throughout the travel season. Beach urged residents not to wait. “As the saying goes, don’t miss the bus! Get screened when the Coach is in your community. Make cancer screening a priority and call us to avoid having to travel for your appointment”.
To see the complete travel season schedule, visit www.tbrhsc.net/screenforlife or follow us Facebook by searching for ‘Screen for Life Coach Northwest’.