Breast Care Program

Breast Care Program at St. Joseph’s Health Care London

Our program offers comprehensive breast imaging, diagnostic, and surgery services, provided by an interdisciplinary team of care, including surgeons, radiologists, medical radiation technologists, nurse navigators, advanced practice nurses, social workers, spiritual care, and more.

This consolidated program improves access, coordination of care, education and support for patients requiring breast care

All patients referred to the breast care program are seen in the unique, specially-designed Norton and Lucille Wolf Breast Care Centre, the main hub of St. Joseph’s Breast Care Program. 

Radiation therapy and chemotherapy, for patients undergoing treatment, are located at the London Regional Cancer Program of London Health Sciences Centre.

Routine breast screening at St. Joseph's

Finding cancer early is important. Breast screening and better treatments are helping to reduce deaths from cancer.  

Regular breast screening can find cancer when it is small, which means:

•    There is a better chance of treating the cancer successfully.
•    It is less likely to spread.
•    More treatment options may be available

St. Joseph’s Hospital is one of over 200 affiliate sites of the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP), funded by Cancer Care Ontario, providing routine screening mammography to women of all ages. 

If you are a woman over the age of 50

You can be referred by your family physician or you can schedule your own screening mammogram appointment through the OBSP program, at a location of your choice. 

If you are a woman under the age of 50

A referral from your family physician is required for routine breast screening.

If you are a woman between the ages of 30 and 69

If you fall into this age group and you think you may be at high risk for breast cancer, you should talk to your family doctor about a referral to the OBSP.

Referrals for high-risk patients are based on specific criteria, such as genetics and a family or medical history.

Learn more about breast screening

Routine breast screening after COVID-19 vaccination

Based on scientific evidence, the Breast Care Program of St. Joseph’s Health Care London is recommending the  following for patients booked for a routine breast screening mammogram who have received, or will be receiving, the COVID-19 vaccine: 

If you are scheduled for a routine screening mammogram at St. Joseph’s Breast Care Program and you 

…HAVE NOT received a COVID-19 vaccine, please attend your appointment as scheduled. 

…HAVE received your first or second COVID-19 vaccine dose, please consider postponing your appointment until eight weeks after your vaccination date. 

  • This recommendation is based on evidence that shows the COVID-19 vaccine may cause swollen lymph nodes in a significant number of people.  This side effect of the vaccine may appear in the breast mammography images as a false indicator for breast cancer, resulting in increased anxiety and additional testing. 
  • If you choose not to delay your appointment based on this recommendation, you will not be turned away.  Your appointment will continue as scheduled. 

If you have any breast symptoms, such as a lump, please attend your appointment as scheduled.  

The recommendation to delay routine breast screening after vaccination is related to the COVID-19 vaccine only. The side effect of swollen lymph nodes is more common with this vaccine than other vaccines, such as the influenza vaccination. 

If you have questions about your screening mammogram or Breast Care Program appointment, please contact the Breast Care Program at 519 646-6000 ext. 66223.

Breast care research at St. Joseph's

Breast care research is a key focus at St. Joseph’s. Through partnerships and collaboration with Lawson Health Research Institute, Robarts Research Institute, London Health Sciences Centre and The University of Western Ontario, members of the breast care team are committed to improving care and outcomes for breast care patients.

Depending on your diagnosis, you may have an opportunity to participate in important clinical studies.

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