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Saskatchewan Creating New Breast Health Centre

Released on March 5, 2024

Expansion of Age Eligibility for Breast Screening to Include ages 40-49

The government of Saskatchewan is investing in several breast cancer care and screening initiatives to support substantial detection and treatment enhancements for Saskatchewan patients.

These enhancements include the opening of a new Breast Health Centre in Regina, expansion of provincial breast cancer screening eligibility and the implementation of new breast cancer tumour localization technology.

“We remain committed to ensuring Saskatchewan residents have access to safe, high quality and timely care,” Health Minister Everett Hindley said. “Through the combined efforts of our doctors, nurses and care teams, these actions will have a substantial impact on improving breast health services, ranging from prevention through diagnostic follow up, treatment and recovery.”

Regina’s new Breast Health Centre will provide a co-location of services, such as diagnostic imaging, consultation with specialists and surgeons, patient education, support and navigation as well as on-site access to post treatment care, such as therapies and rehabilitation.

Family physicians and nurse practitioners will be able to provide a referral to the Breast Health Centre, instead of having to coordinate multiple referrals for their patients, which will help reduce wait times.

The centre, which will be located at Regina Center Crossing on Albert Street, will be operated by the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) and is expected to open its doors in the 2024-25 fiscal year.

“As a surgeon providing breast care, this announcement represents a huge step forward in providing comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and timely care for patients facing breast concerns in Saskatchewan,” Dr. Sarah Miller said. “I greatly thank the Ministry of Health and the Government of Saskatchewan for this tremendous investment in women’s health.”

The province will also make changes to the provincial breast cancer screening age eligibility from the current 50 and older to include women aged 40-49. This expansion aligns with several other provinces that have recently implemented or announced this change to their screening programs. The expansion of the screening program is expected to take effect January 2025 through a phased approach to gradually reduce the age eligibility to allow opportunity to recruit the necessary resources.

“As a breast cancer survivor and an elected official appointed to address issues impacting women, I am very pleased by the steps this government is taking.” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister and Minister Responsible for Status of Women Laura Ross said. “The importance of timely care cannot be overstated and Saskatchewan patients will benefit from this government’s continued investment into supporting women’s health.”

In taking immediate action to reduce breast cancer diagnostic wait times, the Government of Saskatchewan announced an initiative in November of 2023 for eligible patients on an urgent wait list to receive procedures at a medical facility in Calgary. As of February 23, 2024, a total of 188 patients have been referred to the clinic in Calgary and approximately 131 have already had their diagnostic procedures completed.

“I have been meeting directly with patients and health care providers and I know how crucial this is to women’s health” Hindley said. “We are thankful to our health care teams in helping to accelerate urgent diagnostic breast cancer procedures until we are able to stabilize these services in the province.”

A number of proactive initiatives in Saskatchewan are either underway or in planning to enhance care and ensure it is provided in a timely manner, including:

  • additional capacity in Saskatoon and Moose Jaw offered to long-waiting and urgent patients from Regina and southern Saskatchewan has provided 150 patients since November 2023 timely access to breast diagnostic procedures;
  • centralized booking for breast imaging provides seamless care and quicker access for all patients accessing breast cancer screening;
  • implementation of 3D breast imaging (tomosynthesis) will increase cancer detection, reduce need for additional imaging views and tests, and reduce both false positive and false negative mammogram results; and
  • implementation of new breast tumour localization “seed” technology will result in fewer delays and cancellations as well as less discomfort for the patient.

Work continues with to train and recruit medical radiation technologists, sonographers (ultrasound technologists), and radiologists with specialization in breast imaging as part of its ongoing Health Human Resources Action Plan.


For more information, contact:

Media Desk
Phone: 306-787-4083

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