The Screen For Life Coach: Cancer Screening for Today, Tomorrow and for Life

Published Thursday, February 3, 2022

The Screen For Life Coach: Cancer Screening for Today, Tomorrow and for Life

The Screen For Life Coach: Cancer Screening for Today, Tomorrow and for Life

Samantha Morris, Health Promotion Project Assistant


Cancer screening sees what you can’t. In fact, cancer screening is for eligible individuals who don’t have any symptoms, allowing you the chance to be proactive with your health. The earlier you detect cancer, the more treatable it can be.

There are three cancer screening programs available to residents in Northwestern Ontario: breast, cervical and colon cancer screening.

  1. Breast: Women aged 50 to 74 years should have a mammogram every two years. A mammogram is the recommended method for detecting breast cancer.
  2. Cervical: Anyone with a cervix, aged 25 to 69 years, who has ever been sexually active, should complete a Pap test every three years to screen for cervical cancer.
  3. Colon: Anyone aged 50 to 74 years with no family history of colon cancer should complete a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) kit every two years to screen for colon cancer.

Cancer screening can be done through your primary care provider but there is also a second option for those living in Northwestern Ontario: the Screen for Life Coach. Vanessa Masters, Mobile Coach Coordinator at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, provided us with more information about this service. 

What is the Screen for Life Coach?

The Screen for Life Coach is a mobile cancer screening service offering breast, cervical and colon cancer screening in one convenient location.

Where does the Coach park?

Each year, the Coach travels to more than 75 different locations across Northwestern Ontario bringing cancer screening services closer to home. From April to October, the Coach travels to communities between Chapleau and the Manitoba border. Throughout the winter months, the Coach parks in various locations around Thunder Bay.

How do you determine which communities the Screen for Life Coach will visit each year?

The Screen for Life Coach schedule is created based on the number of eligible individuals in a community. We use previous community appointment numbers and other tools to make the travel schedule each year. It is important to call and book your cancer screening appointment when you receive your reminder letter so you don’t miss the bus when we are in your community!

What can you expect when you arrive for your appointment on the Coach?

When you arrive to your appointment, please wear a clean mask, have your health card ready and knock on the door. Our staff will greet you and invite you in at the time of your appointment. These protocols help limit wait times for appointments and ensures the health and safety of both patients and staff.

Who works on the Screen for Life Coach?

The staff on the Coach work in teams of two. There is one Medical Radiation Technologist (MRT) and one Registered Nurse (RN) who work together at the same time. The MRT perform the breast screening mammogram and the RN provides the cervical screening through a Pap test and also coordinates colon screening with a Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) kit requisition.

How can you make an appointment on the Coach?

If you are eligible for breast, cervical and colon cancer screening, you can book all three appointments back to back. It is a one-stop shop to get all your screening done at once! All appointments can be booked by calling (807) 684-7777. We have morning, afternoon, evening, and weekend appointment times available to best accommodate your schedule.


Although the world may seem a little uncertain right now, one thing that you can be sure about is that cancer screening is good for your health. Take the time to talk to your primary care provider about your cancer screening options or visit to learn more about how to book your cancer screening appointment today for a healthy tomorrow.


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