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Primary Care Cancer Screening Program

Cancer screening detects pre-cancerous changes, or cancer at an early stage when there is a better chance of treating it successfully. Primary care providers play a key role in the success of cancer screening programs. Research has shown that people who receive a personal recommendation from their family physician are more motivated to be screened for cancer than those who do not. The Primary Care Cancer Screening Team leads strategies that support primary care efforts in cancer screening participation, appropriateness and coordinated follow-up.

Program Goals

The goals of the program are supported by regional primary care providers who collectively form the Provincial Primary Care & Cancer Network.

The goals of the Primary Care Cancer Screening Team are to:

  • ensure primary care providers are well informed about cancer screening guidelines, appropriateness and timely follow-up for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers
  • support the provider–patient relationship to facilitate cancer screening and timely follow-up
  • design and develop guideline-based clinical tools to support best practices for cancer screening
  • support medical education for cancer screening topics
  • provide audit and feedback reports for primary care so they can manage their quality improvement goals and their own performance
  • embed evidence within all primary care products
  • bring the perspectives of primary care into planning for initiatives all across cancer screening

Program Initiatives

Screening Activity Report

The Screening Activity Report provides patient enrolment model primary care physicians with a tool for improving their breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening rates.

Cancer Screening Quality Improvement Toolkit

The Cancer Screening Toolkit for Quality Improvement Plans (QIPs) was developed for Family Health Teams in support of Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care’s focus on quality in primary care.

Physician-Linked Correspondence

Physician-linked correspondence includes physicians’ names in their rostered patients’ cancer screening letters.

How to Get Involved

Primary care providers are encouraged to engage with their regional peers through Cancer Care Ontario’s Provincial Primary Care & Cancer Network.

To submit general questions, email Screen for Life.