The region's mobile cancer program isn't just about breast cancer.
Within the past year, Cancer Care Ontario’s mobile screening coach added cervical and colorectal examinations. The bus's purpose is to give women the best possible access to testing while providing an alternative to a hospital visit.
“The cervical and colorectal screening is brand new to our service," said Lauren Beach, lead of the mobile coach with Prevention and Screening Services at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.
"Starting screening early develops that baseline and identifies any changes that are going on. Early detection and continual routine screening is really key.”
The mobile unit, which operated at Northwood Plaza Monday, is in service about 300 days a year and provides service to about 6,400 people in that time.
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Cancer Care Ontario has increased the eligibility for the cervical screening, allowing women between 30 and 69 years old to visit the coach. And Beach encourages women older than 21 who have been sexually active to get tested.
The coach is set up in various locations throughout the city. In addition to Northwood, they frequently visit locations such as the 55 Plus Centre, Dawson Road commercial area, and the Da Vinci Centre.
It also goes on road trips throughout the region, heading as far west as Kenora and Dryden and east towards Geraldton and Longlac along the North Shore.
“We’re providing women with the option of having screening services in their local communities so they don’t have to travel into Thunder Bay for that,” Beach said.
“A lot of the local hospitals and health units don’t have the same screening services available to them based on size and staffing so the coach is bridging that gap.”
Women interested in accessing the services are encouraged to call 1-800-461-7031 or check out this website
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