Women in northeastern Ontario are more likely to be screened for breast cancer, according to a provincial health organization.

Statistics from the Ontario Breast Cancer Screening Program show 58.5 per cent of eligible women are screened compared to an average of 44.2 per cent across the province.

Eligible women include those who are 50 years of age or older and women between the ages of 30 and 69 who are at a high-risk of developing breast cancer because of genetic factors or family history.

Cope Alkema, the manager of preventative oncology and screening at the Northeast Cancer Centre in Sudbury, Ont., said the region’s 12 centres see tens of thousands of women.

"This year we are expected to screen close to 30,000 women," he said. "And that then in Sudbury translates into about 10,700 women."

Women who are under 50 and at an average risk of developing breast cancer are not eligible under the Ontario Breast Cancer Screening Program, which started in 1990.

Alkema said women who are concerned should visit a nurse practitioner or doctor, adding that there is no higher prevalence of breast cancer in northeastern Ontario.

Earlier this month, the Canadian Task Force on Preventative Health Care changed its screening guidelines and said clinical breast exams are no longer routinely recommended for women at average risk of breast cancer.