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Breast Cancer Screening for Women at High Risk

The Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) screens women ages 30 to 69 who are confirmed to be at high risk of developing breast cancer, once a year with a mammogram and breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (or screening breast ultrasound if MRI is not medically appropriate). This kind of testing is based on scientific evidence and ensures that high risk women receive the benefits of organized screening.

Who Is Eligible?

Ontario women ages 30 to 69 can get screened through the High Risk OBSP if they have a referral from their doctor, a valid Ontario Health Insurance number and no acute breast symptoms, and fall into one of the following risk categories:

  • Are known to have a gene mutation that increases their risk for breast cancer (e.g. BRCA1, BRCA2, TP53, PTEN, CDH1)
  • Are first-degree relatives (parent, brother, sister or child) of someone who has a gene mutation that increases their risk for breast cancer (e.g. BRCA1, BRCA1, TP53, PTEN, CDH1), have already had genetic counselling and have chosen not to have genetic testing
  • Have been assessed by a genetics clinic (using the IBIS or BOADICEA tools) as having a 25% or greater lifetime risk of breast cancer based on personal family history
  • Have had radiation therapy to the chest to treat another cancer or condition (e.g., Hodgkin lymphoma) before age 30 and at least 8 years ago