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Breast screening expanded to Labrador West

Posted: May 30, 2024

Our dedicated staff are working hard across the province to implement programs and services that improve access to health care. One example is the recent expansion of the provincial breast screening program in Labrador West.

A breast screening satellite centre has launched at the Labrador West Health Centre. This is the second satellite centre in the Labrador-Grenfell Zone. Happy Valley-Goose Bay launched a centre in February of 2023.

Tracey Winters, registered nurse and cancer screening coordinator, has been directly involved with the breast screening program within the Labrador-Grenfell Zone and says it has been a great success so far in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

“We have had a lot of positive feedback. Clients are grateful to be part of the program. Having breast screening centres across the province and in our zone enables eligible women to self-refer for a screening mammogram instead of having to make an appointment to see their health-care provider.”

L-R Tanya Hancock, diagnostic imaging Team lead tech IV and Tracey Winters, registered nurse and cancer screening coordinator.

Tracey has worked in collaboration with team members from across the zone and the province to ensure services could be expanded to Labrador West. This team includes physicians, nurses, nurse practitioner, diagnostic imaging, IT, and members from the provincial breast screening program.

Dr. Nancy Wadden is the medical director for the provincial breast screening program and says accessibility to health services is an important determinant of health.

“With this expansion of services in the Labrador Grenfell Zone, we are helping people achieve the best possible health outcomes by increasing access to services, regardless of one’s geographic location within the province, which can lead to earlier detection and a simpler treatment pathway.”

About the program

The breast screening program offers screening mammography (breast X-rays) to women aged 50-74 years at five sites in the province (St. John’s, Gander, Corner Brook, Happy Valley-Goose Bay and, most recently, in Labrador West). The program also provides breast navigation services from abnormal mammogram results to further follow-up.

“Individuals who are enrolled in the breast screening program, as well as their health-care provider, will receive a letter in the mail, with their mammogram results,” says Tracey.  “This letter will have the date of their next booked screening mammogram. If follow-up tests are required, the breast screening program will coordinate these appointments, as well.”

Participation in breast screening is a personal decision and it is important to discuss the benefits and harms of screening with your health-care provider so that you can make an informed decision about what is best for you.

The screening program may not be right for you if you have:

  • Been diagnosed with breast cancer
  • Breast implants
  • Breast problems
  • Had a mammogram in less than one year
  • Decided screening is not for you after weighing the benefits and harms. 

Recently announced changes to age requirements

On May 14, 2024, the Provincial Government announced changes to the age requirements for breast cancer screening. This is good news for patients, and we are working with the Department of Health and Community Services to ensure the proper resources are in place to accommodate the change and additional patients. At this time, the current age requirements to access breast screening remain at age 50-74.  Further details, such as the date the change becomes effective, will be provided as more information becomes available.

While the health authority works to operationalize this change, individuals in Newfoundland and Labrador age 40 – 49 who feel they may need breast screening, are encouraged to discuss their breast health and options with their primary care provider. In the absence of a primary care provider, residents of NL are advised to register with PatientConnectNL. Neighbourhood walk-in clinics, as well as virtual health options, remain available to assist with discussions about breast health, depending on the zone and area of residence. 

Contact us:

If you decide to participate in breast cancer screening, please contact a breast screening program near you to book an appointment.

To make an appointment call:

  • Eastern Health: (709) 777-5070 or 1-800-414-3443 (toll-free)
  • Central Health: (709) 256-5597 or 1-800-414-3443 (toll-free)
  • Western Health: (709) 634-8558 or 1-800-414-3443 (toll-free)
  • Labrador Grenfell Health: 1-800-414-3443 (toll-free)

To learn more about breast cancer risk factors and prevention, visit: Breast Screening Program – Cancer Care (

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