The theme of this year’s campaign is Get Your Pap Test Today: Pap Tests Save Lives.
The key goal of Cervical Cancer Awareness Week and the National Pap Test Campaign is to improve accessibility to cervical cancer screening for women who may not have a primary health-care provider, or who face other barriers to being screened.
As part of the campaign, women across Northeastern Ontario are being encouraged to get a Pap test at one of more than 30 clinics across the region. A list of the clinics can be found at www.fmwc.ca.
“Having over 30 clinics in Northeastern Ontario participating in the National Pap Test Campaign sends a strong message that the region’s health-care providers want to help women access a service that is essential to their health and that can help prevent cervical cancer,” said Dr. Amanda Hey, regional primary care lead for preventive oncology and screening division of the Northeast Cancer Centre.
“There is no reason for women to suffer needlessly from this largely preventable cancer.”
Cervical cancer screening is recommended every three years for all women, starting at age 21, who are or ever have been sexually active. Pap tests can stop at 70 years of age in women who have had three or more normal tests in the prior 10 years.
Sixty-seven per cent of cervical cancers occur in women between the ages of 30 and 59. Almost all cancers of the cervix are preventable when early cell changes are found through screening.