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Ontario Cancer Screening Performance Report 2016

May 2017
Data Type: Quality and Performance
Publication Series:

For the most recent data, refer to the Ontario Cancer Screening Performance Report 2023.

The Ontario Cancer Screening Performance Report highlights the strengths and future directions of Ontario’s cancer screening programs. The report has a special focus on screening participation and retention, and a feature on Ontarians overdue for screening.

Unlike past program reports, which focused on individual screening programs, this report presents data for the Ontario Breast Screening Program, Ontario Cervical Screening Program and ColonCancerCheck. The report also presents Local Health Integration Network-level data (where available) on key performance indicators.

Highlights of the Report

Breast cancer screening

  • Participation in breast cancer screening has remained stable at 65% of eligible women since 2011 to 2012.
  • The proportion of women screened within the Ontario Breast Screening Program has continued to increase, up to 78% in 2013 to 2014. This is anticipated to increase as more sites are brought into the program.

Cervical screening

  • Participation in cervical screening declined from 2009 to 2011 (68%) to 2012 to 2014 (63%).
  • Retention in the Ontario Cervical Screening Program also declined, from 81% among women screened in 2010 to 72% among women screened in 2011.
  • The timing of the decrease in participation and retention coincides with the update of the cervical screening guidelines in 2011. The updated guidelines extended the recommended interval between Pap tests from annually to once every 3 years.

Colorectal cancer screening

  • The proportion of eligible Ontarians overdue for colorectal cancer screening has continued to improve (decline), from 50% in 2008 to 40% in 2014. 
  • We are transitioning to a new recommended screening test for colorectal cancer for average risk individuals (the fecal immunochemical test). This is expected to improve screening participation.

The findings in this report will inform evidence-based and locally relevant strategies to strengthen cancer screening in Ontario. They also serve as a call to action for primary care providers to discuss regular cancer screening with their eligible patients.

View the Statistics

For the first time, we have publicly reported on the screening participation gap for Ontario’s 3 cancer screening programs. Use the Ontario Cancer Profiles online tool to view the statistics from the participation gap analysis in the report.

  • View both provincial-level and Local Health Integration Network-level statistics.
  • Compare the data with select cancer burden and risk indicators.
  • Download statistics in map and graph form, and export for further analysis.