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COVID-19: Get the latest updates or take a self-assessment.

Cancer Screening During COVID-19

Cancer Screening Tests Starting Again

Healthcare providers are gradually starting breast, cervical and colon cancer screening tests again.

Healthcare providers have been encouraged to start with targeted testing for groups at highest risk of cancer. Routine cancer screening tests are starting up slowly to keep you and healthcare staff safe, and to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The gradual reintroduction of routine cancer screening tests is consistent with the Ministry of Health’s directions to gradually start offering services that have been delayed because of COVID-19.

If you are due or overdue for breast, cervical or colon cancer screening tests, please contact your family doctor, nurse practitioner or Ontario Breast Screening Program site for more information.

Questions?

For information about COVID-19, please visit the Ontario Ministry of Health.

Cancer Screening Tests Resuming

Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario) recommends gradually resuming routine breast and cervical screening. Primary care providers can also begin sending new fecal immunochemical test (FIT) requisitions to LifeLabs for all eligible people at average risk for colorectal cancer.

Due to ongoing COVID-19 safety precautions and potential delays in FIT kit mailing, people may experience delays in receiving a FIT kit. To avoid longer wait times, we ask that primary care providers do not batch fax requisitions.

Ongoing fluctuations in COVID-19 cases and local variation in COVID-19 trends are expected. Primary care providers are encouraged to consider local trends in COVID-19 transmission and local capacity for diagnostic services (e.g., colonoscopy) prior to initiating colorectal cancer screening.

Primary care providers should remember the following when sending in requisitions:

  • Include a valid OHIP number with an updated version code.
  • Ensure the completeness and accuracy of your patient’s mailing address information (including an alternative mailing address for the FIT kit, if applicable).
  • LifeLabs will continue to process all FIT requisitions received as fast as possible. If you have recently sent a FIT requisition for your patient, please do not send a repeat order unless at least 4 to 6 weeks have passed and your patient has not already received a FIT kit, as there remains the potential for mailing delays resulting from COVID-19. Sending a duplicate requisition could cause further delays.

The gradual reintroduction of routine cancer screening tests is consistent with the Ministry of Health’s direction (see Directive #2 for Health Care Providers [May 26, 2020]) allowing for a gradual restart of deferred services. Tip sheets have been developed for healthcare providers to guide the reopening of these services, please email cancerinfo@ontariohealth.ca if you would like a copy.

Questions?

  • Call Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario) toll-free at 1-866-662-9233
    Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Send us an email at cancerinfo@ontariohealth.ca.