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Kingston, Ont. hospital says breast screening numbers down since pandemic – Kingston

Doctors with Kingston Health Sciences Centre say there is currently a backlog of breast screening appointments, due in large part to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the healthcare system.

Some 11,500 people in southeastern Ontario were added to the backlog directly as a result of COVID-19. The hospital says this number does not include individuals who are not yet registered through the Ontario Breast Screening Program.

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“With the various shut-downs during COVID, and as individuals have understandably stayed at home during the pandemic, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people overdue for breast screening,” said KHSC Radiologist Dr. Doris Jabs.

“We really want to stress that it’s now time to get back to breast screening. Proactive screening is the best method to catch cancer early while it is more easily treated, and people have much higher survival rates,” she added.

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Breast screening is done through the use of a mammogram, which is an x-ray of the breast tissue.

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The hospital adds, the process takes 10 minutes to complete and can find cancers before symptoms have developed when it is too small to be felt and is less likely to have spread to other areas of the body.

“It’s important to note that many individuals who have breast cancer have no prior family history of the disease, which makes screening so crucial,” Dr. Jabs said.

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