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  • Writer's pictureRhonda Massad

Quebec Expands Free Breast Cancer Screening to Older Women: A Step Towards Enhanced Prevention

Free access to breast cancer screening in Quebec has now been expanded to women aged 70 to 74 in a bid to enhance cancer prevention and control services. Previously, the program was exclusively available to Quebec women aged 50 to 69. Screening will occur biennially at designated screening centers (CDDs), whether women are referred by a physician or not.

Since February 1st, eligible individuals have been receiving personalized invitation letters by mail, enabling them to schedule a mammogram appointment at a recognized radiology clinic in all regions of Quebec. Eligible women, therefore, do not need to obtain a prescription from a healthcare professional, as the program letter serves this purpose.

Additionally, the Quebec government has tasked the National Institute for Excellence in Health and Social Services (INESSS) with evaluating the possibility of expanding screening from the age of 40, ten years younger than the current eligibility age.

The Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services notes that the Canadian Cancer Society has identified breast cancer as the most common cancer among women in Canada and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among Canadian women. In Quebec, approximately 8,000 new cases of breast cancer arise each year, with around 80% of these cases affecting women aged 50 and over.


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