Have You Had a Check-up Lately?

Written By Alaina Cyr
Image of a doctor with a stethoscope

Monday was National Women's Check-up Day, which is the perfect time to remind ALL our readers (female and male) to book an annual check-up with their family doctor.

I know that annual check-ups aren’t exactly fun, but they’re an important part of your health routine. For me, this is the one appointment in the year where I can talk to my doctor about my overall health without focusing on one particular issue. It also gives my doctor an opportunity to run some basic exams or to recommend other tests that screen for possible diseases like cancer.

Cancer screening is a way of finding precancerous or cancer cells early, before symptoms show up. When these cells are found early there is a better chance that the cancer can be treated successfully. A few uncomfortable or awkward minutes with your doctor could save your life. 

In Ontario, we recommend that women be screened for cervical, colon, and breast cancers. Your doctor may recommend different screening tests depending on your age, your health, and your family history. In general, the recommendations for screening are:

Current recommendations for cancer screening for women in Ontario

​For women who are:21 years or older and who have been sexually active

Normal risk: ​All women 50 - 74 years old

High risk: between 30 - 69 years old

​All women 50 years or older
Screening Test:​​Pap test

​Normal risk: Mammogram

High risk: Mammogram and MRI

​Normal risk: Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT)

High risk: Colonoscopy

​Get tested:

Every 3 years if results are normal

Immunocompromised women should be tested every year.

​Normal risk: Every 2 years

High risk: Every 1 year

​Every 2 years

If you haven’t had a check-up with your family doctor in the past year, book one today.