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Screen for Life Coach Provides Transformational Way to Bring Cancer Screening Closer to Home

Hamilton, ON – The Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Regional Cancer Program is making it possible for more people to get on board with breast, colorectal and cervical cancer screening with the launch of the Screen for Life Coach which rolled into Hamilton today.

The Screen for Life Coach is about the size of a Greyhound bus and is fully equipped with state-of-the-art digital mammography technology and supported by allied health professionals trained to perform mammography and Pap tests and provide cancer screening consultations. Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) kits, the “at-home” test for colorectal cancer screening, will also be available to patients who meet the eligibility criteria.

In accordance with provincial cancer screening guidelines, breast and colorectal screening services on the coach will be accessible to women between the ages of 50 and 74, and cervical cancer screening services will be available to women between the ages of 50 and 70.

The coach is modelled after the very successful northern Ontario coach that has been traveling to remote areas, offering mammography in the communities since 1992, but this is the first time that cervical and colorectal screening will be available in a mobile screening coach. The new state-of-the-art Screen for Life Coach is one of two specially designed coaches in Ontario – the other is in the Northwest.

In Hamilton, the Screen for Life Coach will focus on engaging the under/never screened population of women 50 – 74 years old who may face cultural, social and/ or other barriers that make it difficult for them to participate in screening. The Screen for Life coach will begin with service in priority areas in North Lower Hamilton – McQuesten, Keith/Jamesville and Riverdale neighbourhoods.

First stop for the coach will be the East Kiwanis Community Centre located within the McQuesten Neighbourhood of Hamilton. The coach will be parked in McQuesten for the next several months and will work in partnership with the Creating Access to Screening and Training in the Living Environment (CASTLE) project, Hamilton Public Health Services and the McQuesten Planning Team to raise awareness and engage those in the community with cancer screening .

“The introduction of services such as the Screen for Life Coach represents a shift in the concept of cancer care services delivery – where the drive is to bring health services directly to patients in their communities, rather than waiting for them to come to us ,” said Dr. Bill Evans, President, Juravinski Cancer Centre and Regional Vice-President, Cancer Care Ontario.

“The Screen for Life Coach is an innovative way to bring much needed services closer to home for women in Hamilton who may otherwise not be screened for breast, cervical or colorectal cancer. I applaud and thank the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Cancer Care Ontario and all of our community partners for their support in this transformational initiative.”

“Regular cancer screening can detect cancer at an early stage before symptoms develop, or detect changes that lead to cancer,” says Michael Sherar, president and CEO for Cancer Care Ontario. “This is why we are reaching out to women in their communities to ensure they have equal access to care. I’m proud that we have found an innovative way to expand our program to reach more women who can benefit from cancer screening services.”

• The Screen for Life coaches will offer mammograms and FOBT kits for women between the ages of 50 to 74. Pap tests are available to women between 50 and 70.
• The coach ies are approximately 45 feet long, and can serve two patients at one time.
• A new, high-quality digital mammography unit is onboard.
• Research shows that regularly screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer saves lives.
• Cancer screening is for healthy individuals with no symptoms. It can detect changes that lead to cancer, or detect cancer at an early stage before symptoms develop.

For more information, please contact:

Vel Snoukphonh
Public Relations Specialist
Juravinski Cancer Centre at Hamilton Health Sciences
Tel: 905-870-0111
Hospital Paging: 905-521-5030