Screening Guidelines

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, cancer is the leading cause of premature death in Canada. Based on 2015 estimates, 2 out of 5 Canadians are expected to develop cancer during their lifetime; 42 per cent of Canadian women and 45 per cent of Canadian men.

Cancer Screening & Early Detection

Cancer screening and early detection are important tools to help identify some types of cancer early enough so treatments can be more effective.

There are currently screening tools for these cancers:

  • Skin
  • Colorectal
  • Breast
  • Cervical
  • Testicular
  • Prostate

While screening tests (such as mammograms, pap tests and colonoscopies) are carried out by health professionals, early detection is something that individuals can do for themselves.

Looking for and reporting any changes in your body, helps you to take responsibility for your health.  It is very important that if you notice any changes in your health to report them to your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Cancer Screening Guidelines

Men and Women

Discuss colorectal cancer screening with your doctor. Also, see the Screening information page on the Canadian Cancer Society website for more information.

Check your skin regularly and discuss any changes with your doctor or nurse practitioner.

For more information on what you should look for, visit the Canadian Cancer Society's website on Screening for Melanoma and Non-melanoma skin cancers.


Have a regular Pap test every three years starting at age 21 if you are or have ever been sexually active. See the Canadian Cancer Society's web page on Screening for Cervical Cancer to find more detailed information.

Ask your doctor or nurse practitioner for a clinical breast exam as part of your regular check up.

Have a mammogram every two years if you are 50 to 74 years of age or sooner  if you believe you are at high risk. Detailed information on Breast Cancer Screening can be found through Cancer Care Ontario.


Discuss prostate and testicular screening with your doctor or nurse practitioner. For detailed information on both Testicular and Prostate Cancer, early detection and screening visit the Canadian Cancer Society website.