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Well Woman
Program Details (Back to Programs)

This program provides comprehensive care for women between the ages of 14-69. Female patients will be given an appointment with the team Nurse Practitioner who will provide female health assessments and cancer screening in three key areas:

The Nurse Practitioner also provides specific counseling for health issues such as peri-menopausal/ post menopausal symptoms, contraception, protection from sexually transmitted illness, bone health, nutrition and physical activity.

 

Breast Cancer Screening

The goal of breast cancer screening is to provide early cancer detection and referral for treatment if required. Mammography is currently the recommended test used to detect breast cancer.
It is important to find breast cancer early because:
  • There is a better chance of treating the cancer successfully
  • It is less likely to spread
  • There may be more treatment options
  • When breast cancer is caught early, 90% of women fully recover after treatment

The Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) - a program administered by Cancer Care Ontario - provides mammography screening for women at average risk of developing breast cancer aged 50 years and older.
Now, women aged 30-69 who are found to be at high risk for developing breast cancer will also have access to OBSP services including annual mammography and possibly breast MRI screening.

The OBSP currently accepts women who fall into the following two categories:
  • Women at average risk of developing breast cancer, age 50 and over:
    o Evidence shows that regular mammograms for women who are at average risk and 50 years or older, are the most effective way to detect breast cancer early. Average risk means you have no other risk factors simply than being a woman and being older (i.e. 50 and over).
  • Women at high risk of developing breast cancer, age 30 to 69:
    o Women in Ontario aged 30 to 69 who are at high risk for breast cancer due to genetic factors or a personal or family history suggestive of hereditary breast cancer can receive an annual breast screening MRI and mammogram through the OBSP.


Mammogram and appointment information:

  • All physicians and our Nurse Practitioner in our Family Health Team can refer patients to the OBSP
  • When you go for your first mammogram, you will automatically be entered as part of the OBSP.  After your initial appointment, follow up letters will be sent to your home indicating the time interval for your next screening date.  Women aged 50 and over who are at average risk may refer themselves to the OBSP. To self-refer, please call an OBSP site directly to make an appointment.
  • Women between the ages of 30 to 69 who are at high risk will need a referral from their doctor or nurse practitioner to be screened at an OBSP centre.

Your family doctor will review all results, and a call will be given if any follow-up is needed.

OBSP Diagnostic Image Location
  • Women’s Health at Greater Niagara General Hospital 905-358-4952


Cervical Cancer Screening

Regular screening is an essential defense against cervical cancer. Cervical cancer screening can detect early cell changes on the cervix caused by persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. These changes seldom cause any symptoms, but can progress to cancer if not found and treated. Screening by having a PAP test is the only way to detect changes that might lead to cancer.

Female patients between the ages of 21 to 70 are eligible for screening if they have engaged in any type of sexual activity. Early detection is the key objective. Cervical cancer screening with PAP tests can detect cell changes and precancerous lesions associated with persistent infection with high-risk types of human papillomavirus.
Screening may be discontinued at age 70 if there is an adequate negative PAP history in the previous 10 years.  With regular PAP tests, combined with the HPV vaccine (GARDASIL or CERVARIX), it is possible to prevent cervical cancer.

Follow-up
Appointments with our Nurse Practitioner for your PAP testing can by made by calling the office at 905-354-9393. The Nurse Practitioner will review the PAP test results and you will be called if follow-up is needed.

Screening Interval

If your PAP results are normal, then screening should be done every 3 years.  If they are abnormal, then screening will be individualized and you may be called in 3 months, 6 months or annually.


HPV Vaccine
The HPV vaccine is a major breakthrough in cancer prevention. The HPV vaccine Gardasil is the vaccine used in Ontario's HPV immunization program. The vaccine protects against four types of HPV — types 6, 11, 16 and 18. Two of these cause 70% of cervical cancers and the other two cause 90% of genital warts.
Three doses of the vaccine are required for complete protection. The HPV vaccine has been approved for use in over 100 countries, and over 40 million doses of vaccine have been distributed worldwide. The HPV vaccine is approved for females aged 9 to 45 and for males aged 9-26.
HPV immunization as well as regular PAP tests (starting at age 21) can reduce the risk of cervical cancer in women. (From Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Website)



Colon Cancer Screening

What is Colorectal Cancer?
Colorectal cancer refers to cancer of the colon or rectum. The colon, which is also called the large intestine or large bowel, is a hollow tube five to six feet long and is coiled within the abdomen. The rectum is the last six inches of the colon. This is not a part of our bodies we spend a lot of time thinking about and certainly not talking about, but the colon is a hardworking organ that helps our bodies absorb water and excrete waste.
Cancer in the colon or rectum can take up to 10 years or more to develop to an advanced stage. This is why it is very important to make regular screening for colorectal cancer a part of your routine health checks.

Fecal Occult Blood Testing (FOBT)
The Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) is the screening method for average risk people between the ages of 50 and 74. It is a simple test that you can do in the privacy of your home. The FOBT is the most widely available test for screening for colorectal cancer.
It is recommended that men and women between the ages of 50 and 74, who do not have a family history of colorectal cancer and do not have symptoms, be screened every two years using an FOBT. Studies show when this screening test is performed every two years, combined with a colonoscopy for those who test positive, it will reduce death from colorectal cancer by 16 per cent over a decade.  (From Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Website)

Testing
An FOBT kit can be given to you at the office to take home. You need to have a requisition inside of your FOBT kit in order to send it to the lab for testing.  You can get your requisition and kit at a regular patient appointment, or you can call to pick one up.

Follow-up
Your test results for FOBT test or Colonoscopy will be sent directly to your physician or Nurse Practitioner to review. If any follow-up is needed you will receive a call from your doctor or Nurse Practitioner.