Health Matters is published by Calgary and area Primary
Care Networks (PCNs) to give you information about the
programs, services and health teams available to you
through your family doctor. More than 60,000 copies are
distributed in the Calgary area.
Research shows when people visit a family doctor regularly,
they are healthier and live longer. People with chronic
diseases also receive more care, make fewer emergency
department visits and are hospitalized less.
More than 1,300 family doctors in 346 clinics belong to
PCNs in the Calgary area. They care for about 1.1 million
Health Matters, Spring 2016 Issue
Keith Bradford, Terry Bullick, Bart Goemans, Cori Leyte,
Dr. Christine Luelo, Jacquie Maurice, Amy Sawchenko,
Jennifer Allford, Penny Breedon, Anne Georg,
Doug R. Horner, Michael Interisano, Jacqueline Louie,
Sherry Mumford, Jimi Scherer, Brett Tiesmaki, Neil Zeller
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ii Health Matters: A Calgary & Area Primary Care Networks Publication
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› South Calgary Primary Care Network
What screening tests can
do for you
Rhonda Petryk takes a proactive approach to her
“I would much rather be doing things for my
health now, than wait until I have some major
health issue, and then dealing with it after the
fact,” she says.
As part of that approach, she recently had
screening tests for breast cancer, osteoporosis
and colon cancer.
“Screening serves as an early warning system to
alert people to a potential for illness and allows
them to do what’s necessary to avoid getting
‘ill’ or labelled with a disease such as diabetes or
hypertension,” says Dr. Anthony Train, who is part
of the South Calgary PCN.
Screening tests and tools can include an
examination, procedure and questions to help
detect, diagnose and if needed, shape treatment.
Screening is different from diagnostic tests—such
as a blood test—which are used to diagnose
specific symptoms and complaints.
“We screen healthy people for potential early
illnesses,” Train explains. Screening is “an ongoing
conversation with your health-care provider, which
is tailored for you.”
Dr. Jim Dickinson, a family medicine professor at
the University of Calgary and a member of the
Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care,
says some screening tests are highly effective.
Others have less value and must be carefully
considered with your primary care doctor before
Cover photo: Technician Sara Gimbel (right) gives one of her
patients a mammogram at RCA Diagnostics in Calgary.
Photo: Michael Interisano
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