Task Force update

Task Force update

The Task Force for Preventive Health acknowledges the remarks made by Minister Holland in relation the draft recommendations on breast cancer screening. 

We want to assure Canadians that the Task Force conducted a comprehensive evidence review of more than 165 studies, including recent observational studies, randomized controlled trials, mathematical modelling, data from Statistics Canada and other sources to ensure it had the most recent evidence to inform the draft recommendations. It is inaccurate to suggest our conclusions are not rooted in science. 

We thank the Minister for his suggestion to extend the public comment period to 60 days and will take it into consideration. We appreciate the government’s interest in our work to develop clinical practice guidelines for Canadians.

We are aligned with the Minister on at least one very important thing: women should get individual health advice from their primary care provider. We do, however, want to reiterate that screening is a personal decision and we provide tools on our website to help with this. The Task Force also agrees that more research is desperately needed, particularly on the impact of screening in Black and other racialized populations and those with dense breasts. We support the Minister’s call to address some of the research gaps and uncertainties identified by the Task Force. 

As front-line family physicians and health care providers, we see the positive and negative impacts of screening every day and are committed to sharing unbiased information with our patients. 

About the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care
The Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care is an independent group of family physicians, nurse practitioners, specialists and experts in preventive health care and guideline methodology with a mandate to develop evidence-based national clinical practice guidelines for primary care on a range of topics.