Breast cancer screening in Canada 2021/2022

Follow-up after a normal mammogram

All provinces and territories, with the exception of Nunavut, send results letters to participants after a normal mammography result, and send follow-up recall reminders by mail or via phone call. Recall reminders are usually sent out at a 2-year interval, as recommended by the radiologist, or based on identified risk factors.

Most provinces and territories send out reminder notifications via letter if no response was received after the first communication. Nine jurisdictions issue reminders if participants do not initiate screening after the first recall attempt.

Receiving results and follow-up for normal breast screening test results

Province/Territory Mailed to participant  Sent to PCP/ healthcare provider 
YT 
NT 
NU*  ✓ (varies by site)
BC 
AB 
SK 
MB 
ON 
QC 
NB 
NS 
PE 
NL 

NU: * For screens done out of territory, would follow out of territory jurisdictional protocols


Recall method for normal breast screening test results

Province/Territory  Recall mailed  Phone call   Process varies by site  No formal recall 
YT 
NT 
NU* 
BC 
AB 
SK 
MB 
ON 
QC 
NB  ✓ (phone call or letters)
NS 
PE 
NL 

NU: * For screens done out of territory, would follow out of territory jurisdictional protocols


Recall interval for normal breast screening results

P/T 1 – 2 years  2 years  Or based on radiologist recommendation  Or based on identified risk factors 
YT 
NT 
NU* 
BC 
AB 
SK 
MB 
ON  ✓^
QC 
NB 
NS 
PE 
NL 

NU: * For screens done out of territory, would follow out of territory jurisdictional protocols
ON: ^In Ontario, most participants are recalled every 2 years; however, some participants are recalled in one year based on identified risk factors and/or radiologist recommendation.


Breast screening reminder notifications

P/T Reminder notifications
YT None
NT Reminder letter sent to patient 2 weeks before the beginning of the month screening is due, second reminder letter sent 15 days after appointment is due if patient has not been seen or booked for a mammogram
NU No organized screening program available
BC A series of up to 3 postcards are sent over a 23-month period as reminder notifications
AB Reminder letter is sent from the program once when >120 days overdue
SK Reminder letter sent 2 weeks after initial invite if no appointment is booked.
MB Reminder letter is sent 3 weeks after the invitation/recall letter if an appointment is not scheduled. If continued no response, a recall letter will be sent annually until response or participant ages out (75) of program. A maximum of 4 sets of letters (invitation, recall, and reminder) will be sent.
ON Recall reminder letter sent by screening program approximately 10 weeks after the recall letter if screening is not initiated
QC Recall reminder letter sent by screening program approximately 10 weeks after the recall letter if screening is not initiated
NB None
NS Reminder postcards are sent 3 months prior to the individual’s due date if screening appointment has not been scheduled. Email reminders are currently being explored.
PE Reminder letter sent 5 months prior to individual’s due date with an overdue letter 2 months following the person’s due date if screening is not initiated
NL Appointment reminder letter sent to participant 4 weeks prior to scheduled appointment.  If a person books or changes their appointment within the 4-week window a reminder letter is not sent. Participants are given their recall appointment to screening when they receive their result letter.