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Primary Care Cancer Screening Program

The Primary Care Cancer Screening Team leads strategies that support primary care efforts in cancer screening participation, appropriateness and coordinated follow-up.

Cancer screening is testing done on people who may be at risk of getting cancer, but who have no symptoms and generally feel fine. Regular cancer screening is important because it can find cancer early when treatment has a better chance of working. To receive the full benefits of regular cancer screening, it is important for screening participants to have timely and appropriate follow-up after an abnormal test.

Primary care providers play a key role in the success of cancer screening programs. Evidence shows a positive relationship between physician recommendation for screening and patient participation in colon cancer, breast cancer and cervical screening.

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 for patient enrolment model physicians shows the screening status of enrolled patients.

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 the name of the patient’s physician on personalized letters. These letters, generated by ColonCancerCheck on behalf of physicians, invite and remind enrolled patients to get screened.

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.