Bluewater Health Marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Encourages Screening

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 - 1:10pm

SARNIA & PETROLIA – October 9, 2019 – Bluewater Health is marking Breast Cancer Awareness Month throughout October, to encourage Sarnia-Lambton residents to participate in regular breast screening.

The average mammogram takes just five minutes to book and less than 10 minutes to complete, and it can help detect cancer early. Early detection can result in a five-year survival rate approaching 100%. Women should get a ‘baseline’ mammogram and have follow-up mammograms every one to two years depending on their unique health needs. Sarnia-Lambton women aged 50 to 54 in particular are invited to book a first-time mammogram appointment at Bluewater Health. No referral from a doctor is required. They can call 519-464-4515 to book an appointment for a day in October that suits their availability.

Designated as an Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) by Cancer Care Ontario (CCO), Bluewater Health, Sarnia, offers high-quality and timely mammography screening, follow-up of abnormal screens and a reminder letter when it’s time to return. The service is free and a doctor’s referral is not needed. Bluewater Health consistently sees more than 90% of patients for imaging, biopsy and surgery within the provincial wait time indicators.

Early Detection and Timely Treatment are Key

Breast cancer is the single leading cause of cancer death in women under age 60. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 86% of women diagnosed with breast cancer do not have a family history of breast cancer. If caught early, the five-year survival rate is close to 100%. If breast cancer is caught late, then the survival rate is 23% at five years.

“Breast cancers can be detected through screening mammography when they are small, with an extremely high success rate,” says Dr. Youssef Almalki, Medical Director, Diagnostic Imaging, Bluewater Health. “We’ve placed a high priority on decreasing the time from test to diagnosis following an abnormal screen, to lessen patients’ anxiety and proceed to treatment as soon as possible. We are number one in Ontario when it comes to seeing women after an abnormal mammogram that requires additional tests.” Dr. Almalki will speak on the importance of screening at Bluewater Health’s first session of its new ‘mini medical school’ on Thursday, October 24 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm in the Auditorium at the Sarnia hospital. Please email to register.

For patients receiving a cancer diagnosis, Bluewater Health offers best-in-class treatment options and timely care. Wait times for diagnostic tests and treatments are a priority for Bluewater Health and the organization constantly strives to meet or exceed provincial wait time standards. “Our own diagnostic departments and specialists work with the Regional Cancer Center at Windsor Regional Hospital, and the London Regional Cancer Program to ensure all appropriate services and referrals are available to our patients,” says Dr. Mike Haddad, Chief of Staff, Bluewater Health. “Our oncology team and patient navigator work to make patients most comfortable and able to make treatment decisions. Our exceptional surgeons can perform many types of cancer surgeries, close to home, and our cancer clinic guides patients through their chemotherapy treatments.”

For cancer surgeries overall, Bluewater Health saw 100% of patients within the provincial target for both time to first cancer surgical appointment and time from decision to cancer surgery, compared to 93% and 91% respectively for Ontario hospitals on average.

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, Diagnostic Imaging staff invites all Bluewater Health staff to join them in wearing pink each Wednesday to help raise awareness of breast cancer.


Bluewater Health, with locations in Sarnia and Petrolia, cares for the residents of Sarnia-Lambton. With close to 2,500 staff, Professional Staff and volunteers, Bluewater Health provides an array of specialized acute, complex continuing care, allied health and ambulatory care services. Bluewater Health’s Mission is: We create exemplary healthcare experiences with patients and families every time. For more information about Bluewater Health, visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.




For more information contact:

Julia Oosterman
Chief, Communications & Public Affairs
Bluewater Health

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