Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

B.C. OKs annual breast cancer screening for high-risk women; every 2 years for others

VANCOUVER - A new breast cancer screening policy for British Columbia urges women aged 40 to 74 to have annual mammograms if their mothers, sisters or daughters have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

The B.C. Cancer agency released new guidelines Tuesday, describing the recommendation as a step toward personalized cancer screening.

Dr. Christine Wilson says research has shown that women who have a so-called first order relative with breast cancer have two times the risk of developing the disease than women who do not.

Wilson says the B.C. Cancer Agency will send women in this high-risk group recall messages.

The revised guidelines recommend screening every two years for other women between the ages of 50 and 74, the age group in which more than 80 per cent of breast cancers are detected.

The B.C. Cancer Agency is also allowing women aged 40-49 to be screened every two years without a doctor's referral, though it urges women in this age group to discuss the pros and cons of screening with a health-care provider.

The same is true for women aged 75 and older.

Screening in the 40-to-49 age group is contentious, with studies suggesting there is less benefit for women under age 50 and a higher risk of false positive tests that must be followed up.

Previously, the agency permitted women aged 40 to 49 be screened every year.

The Canadian Task Force for Preventive Health Care recommends against routine breast cancer screening in women aged 40 to 49. And Cancer Care Ontario says women in this age group who want to undergo screening mammography should talk with their doctors first.

Wilson says the B.C. Cancer Agency has decided to "take the more permissive stance."

"The idea is that we want woman to have that discussion with their family doctors or nurse practitioners about really, is screening right for them or not? And if they choose it, then it is," says Wilson, a radiologist and the medical director of the B.C. Cancer Agency's screening mammography program.

"The evidence shows there is still a benefit in terms of mortality reduction for the screened group."

Women under 40 would need a doctor's referral to undergo screening mammography.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.


Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Submit a Random Act of Kindness
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media