Breast cancer screening in Canada: 2021/2022

About this section

Organized breast screening programs are available in most provinces and territories across Canada. The programs screen individuals who are asymptomatic (no signs or symptoms of breast cancer present) and at average risk for breast cancer. Where organized screening programs are not available, screening services may be accessed opportunistically (outside the organized program) through a primary care provider (PCP). This section describes breast cancer screening programs, guidelines, and recruitment methods in provinces and territories across Canada.

Breast screening programs and guidelines

Currently, 12 Canadian jurisdictions have implemented organized breast screening programs. Nunavut does not have an organized breast screening program at this time. In this scan, information on opportunistic screening is provided for Nunavut where available.

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Breast cancer screening programs in Canada

P/T Program start date Program name Agency responsible for program administration
YT 1990 Yukon Mammography Program Government of Yukon (Yukon Hospital Corporation)
NT* 2004

2008

Yellowknife Breast Screening Program (YKBSP)
Hay River Breast Screening Program (HRBSP)
Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA)
Hay River Health and Social Services Authority (HRSSA)
NU No organized screening program available
BC 1988 BC Cancer Breast Screening Program BC Cancer
AB 1990 Alberta Breast Cancer Screening Program (ABCSP) Alberta Health Services
SK 1990 Screening Program for Breast Cancer Saskatchewan Cancer Agency
MB 1995 BreastCheck CancerCare Manitoba
ON 1990 Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario)
QC 1998 Programme québécois de dépistage du cancer du sein (PQDCS) Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux
NB 1995 New Brunswick Breast Cancer Screening Services New Brunswick Cancer Network (NB Department of Health)
NS 1991 Nova Scotia Breast Screening Program IWK Health Centre
PE 1998 PEI Breast Screening Program Health PEI
NL 1996 Breast Screening Program for Newfoundland and Labrador Cancer Care Program, Eastern Health

NT: *Yellowknife Breast Screening Program (YKBSP) and Hay River Breast Screening Program (HRBSP) support 15 of 33 NT communities. The remaining 18 communities that are not part of an organized program book mammograms through the diagnostic imaging department that services their region.