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You’ve been redirected to the new Cancer Care Ontario website. You can also visit the archived website, which is no longer being maintained.

Letters to the Public About Cancer Screening

Ontario’s screening programs offer people with no cancer symptoms in certain age groups the chance to get regularly screened for 3 types of cancer: breast, cervical and colorectal. Cancer Care Ontario sends letters to people to invite them to get screened, tell them about their test results, let them know if they need to get more tests done and remind them when it is time to be screened again.

Once you become eligible for screening, an invitation for screening is sent to you automatically. You will also receive a privacy notice that tells you about our cancer screening programs and how your information is protected. You can change your mind about receiving letters at any time.

Breast Screening

We mail letters to women turning 50 inviting them to get screened for breast cancer through the Ontario Breast Screening Program. Women between ages 51 and 73 who have not been screened in at least 3 years also receive a letter inviting them to get screened. 

In addition, we send letters to women ages 50 to 74 reminding them when it is time to return (recall) for screening and informing them of their results, if they are normal. Ontario Breast Screening Program sites continue to inform women of their results if they are abnormal.

Samples of Letters

Plain text versions of these letters are available.

Correspondence privacy notice

Invitation letter

Invitation reminder

Recall letter – 2 year recall

Recall reminder

Normal result letter – 1 year recall

Normal result letter – 2 year recall

Normal result letter – no recall

Cervical Screening

We mail letters to eligible women ages 30 to 69 inviting them to book a Pap test through the Ontario Cervical Screening Program. We also send letters to women ages 21 to 69 to inform them of their test results and remind them when it is time to return for screening.

Samples of Letters

Plain text versions of these letters are available.

Correspondence privacy notice

Invitation and recall letter

Invitation and recall reminder

Normal result letter

Unsatisfactory result letter

Abnormal result letter

For information on what an abnormal Pap test result means and what happens next, download the fact sheet What your abnormal Pap test means. 

Colorectal Screening

We send letters through ColonCancerCheck to men and women ages 50 to 74 who have never been screened before or who are due for screening inviting them to visit their family doctor to discuss colorectal cancer screening.

Samples of Letters

Plain text versions of these letters are available.

Correspondence privacy notice

Invitation letter

Invitation reminder

Recall letter

Normal result letter

Indeterminate result letter

Indeterminate result reminder

Rejected result letter

Rejected result reminder

Abnormal result letter (for a participant with a doctor) 

Abnormal result letter (for a participant without a doctor) 

Abnormal result reminder

For information on what an abnormal fecal occult blood test result means and what happens next, see the Abnormal FOBT Result FAQs.

Types of Letters

Results Notifications

After screening tests are analyzed, participating labs and screening centres inform your doctor and Cancer Care Ontario about your results. We notify you of your test results in the following ways:

  • Normal result – We notify all participants (with or without family doctors) about normal results by mail. The letter tells you that your result is normal and advises you when to get screened again, unless there is a change in your family history of cancer or you notice possible symptoms of cancer (in both cases you are advised to see your doctor).
  • Abnormal result (participants with a doctor) — Your doctor will inform you about your abnormal result and provide you with next steps. We also send letters to you to tell you that your result is abnormal and advise you to see your doctor for follow-up if you
  • Abnormal result (participants without a doctor) — We will contact you by mail and telephone to make sure you are referred to a doctor, who will then provide you with next steps.
  • Unsatisfactory result – We notify you if the laboratory rejects your Pap test or fecal occult blood test or the result could not be read; in both cases, a retest is needed. For colorectal screening, you will be advised to contact your doctor to get another kit. If you don’t have a doctor, we advise you to contact Telehealth Ontario to get another kit. For cervical screening, you will be advised to contact your doctor, nurse practitioner or clinic to arrange for another Pap test.

Recall Notifications

After a normal test, we send recall letters to eligible average risk participants reminding them to re-screen in 2 years for breast and colorectal cancer, and 3 years for cervical cancer.

Reminder Letters

We also send reminder letters to participants who haven’t responded after receiving certain letters.

Privacy Notice

The privacy notice tells you about our cancer screening programs and how your information is protected.

Physician-Linked Letters

Physician-linked correspondence includes physicians’ names in the cancer screening letters mailed to their patients.

Invitation letter

Invitation reminder

Recall letter

Recall reminder

Privacy

If you no longer want to receive cancer screening letters from Cancer Care Ontario or wish to change your personal information, simply do the following:

  1. Download the Cancer Screening Programs: Participant Information Form. 
  2. Complete the appropriate sections.
  3. Fax the completed form to 1-866-682-9534 or mail it to the address on page 2 of the form. Detailed instructions and contact information are provided on the form – for assistance, call 1-866-662-9233. To protect your privacy, please do not email the form.

If you attended an Ontario Breast Screening Program site before March 2014 you were asked to complete a consent form. We will continue to honour the restrictions related to the use of your personal health information. If you have questions about the status of your breast screening consent, call us toll-free at 1-866-662-9233 from Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. or send an email to screenforlife@cancercare.on.ca.

For more information about how we protect your privacy, read our Personal Health Info FAQs.