COVID‐19 update to BC Cancer Screening Program availability

BC Cancer delivers cancer screening programs in partnership with primary care providers, health authorities, private clinics, and labs. Many cancer screening services and processes are being temporarily suspended at this time to reduce the risk of COVID‐19 transmission among asymptomatic populations and to allow the health system to focus resources on urgent and emergent care.

Breast Screening Program

  • Screening mammography has been temporarily suspended in BC until further notice.
  • Patients who have existing appointments will be contacted directly and put on a wait list.
  • Patients attempting to book future appointments will be put on a wait list.

Colon Screening Program


  • Health authorities have temporarily suspended non‐urgent, non‐emergent colonoscopies in BC. Screening colonoscopies for asymptomatic people with a family history of colon cancer or personal history of adenomas, and follow‐up colonoscopies for those who have had an abnormal fecal immunochemical test, are non‐urgent, non‐emergent procedures.
  • Health authorities are contacting patients directly if a patient’s colonoscopy is being canceled or re‐booked.

Fecal immunochemical test (FIT):

  • FIT kit distribution at laboratories across BC has been suspended until further notice.
  • Patients who have recently received reminder notices from the Colon Screening Program are being mailed letters directing them not to pick up a FIT from the lab and not to see their primary care provider for the sole purpose of requesting a lab requisition for FIT.

Cervix Screening Program

  • Pap samples continue to be processed by the Cervical Cancer Screening Laboratory, and providers will continue to receive results.
  • All Cervix Screening recall notifications sent to providers are temporarily suspended.
  • Colposcopy clinics are triaging follow‐up procedures and deferring procedures based on service priorities.

Please note that:

  • Screening is for asymptomatic patients. Please continue to directly refer patients with symptoms to specialists or for diagnostic procedures.
  • All reminder notices for cancer screening have been suspended at this time.
  • Patients with booked follow‐up appointments at health authority facilities will be contacted directly by the facility regarding cancelations or rebooking.

We encourage you to stay up‐to‐date about the availability of cancer screening or follow‐up services by visiting

This post has not been peer reviewed by the BCMJ Editorial Board.

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