Cancer Screening Programs

Cervical Cancer Screening

Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix, and can be detected early through a Papanicolaou test, also known as a Pap test or Pap smear. The Pap test involves inserting a swab into the woman’s vagina to gently scrape cells from the surface of her cervix. The cells are then analyzed to identify any abnormal cells. 

Who should be screen for Cervical Cancer?

Women should start cervical cancer screening with Pap tests at age 21, or 3 years after becoming sexually active; whichever comes first.  Once screening has started a women should be screen yearly until she has had three normal Pap tests in a row, and then the frequency can be changed to once every two years.  Talk to your primary care provider about your eligibility for cervical cancer screening and if it is appropriate for you. 

If you or a family member has already had cancer, or you are experiencing any unusual signs or symptoms, talk to your primary care provider about your options for cancer screening. You could be eligible for different screening tests. 


How can I get screened?

The Pap test can be done at any health centre or primary care clinic.  Book an appointment with your primary care provider to be screened.


What to bring to your appointment

Arrive 15-20 minutes early to check in for your appointment.  To check in, you will be required to show:

  • Your health care card
  • A piece of photo identification

Getting your results

About two weeks after you have had your Pap test a report will be sent to your primary care provider with your results.  Your primary care provider will only contact you if you have abnormal results and require further testing.  If you want to know the results you can call them and ask.  It is good for you to know when you are due for your next cervical cancer screening Pap test.  Follow up with your primary care provider to find out when you are due for your next test.


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