Physicians play a significant role in the success of cancer screening programs. Evidence shows a positive relationship between physician recommendation for screening and patient participation in colorectal cancer, breast cancer and cervical screening.
Cancer screening letters are a key way to encourage people to get screened. Cancer Care Ontario offers physician-linked correspondence, which includes the names of physicians in their rostered patients’ cancer screening letters. The results of a 2-phase pilot study conducted by the ColonCancerCheck program demonstrated that physician-linked correspondence is an effective way to motivate eligible Ontarians to get screened for cancer. For more details on the study, please see the Physician-Linked Correspondence FAQs.
Physician-linked correspondence is available to all patient enrolment model physicians in the province for colorectal cancer screening and may be expanded to include breast cancer screening and cervical screening.
How to Enrol
Physicians are required to provide their consent to enrol in physician-linked correspondence. To enrol, fill out the consent form and submit it by fax, email or mail, as indicated in the form.
Physicians must sign their own consent forms. However, a delegate can complete the rest of the information on the form.
Physicians are required to provide their signature to show that they understand and acknowledge what they are opting into and their responsibilities. Physicians are asked to provide consent for all 3 cancer screening programs at once. By doing so, they will automatically be enrolled when physician-linked correspondence expands to the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) and the Ontario Cervical Screening Program (OCSP). We will give you details about this expansion before it takes place.
Benefits of Physician-Linked Correspondence
Physician-linked correspondence provides many benefits to physicians and screen-eligible Ontarians:
- Supports better patient care
- Maximizes the chances of early detection when cancer is easier to treat – for example, when colorectal cancer is detected early, the likelihood of curing someone is 90%, but this likelihood decreases to 12% if colorectal cancer is detected at a later stage 
- Saves the cost and time your practice spends calling or sending letters to patients