Originally launched last December, the pilot puts cervical cancer screening directly in the hands of eligible participants and allows for screening without the need to see a health care provider for a Pap test. Self-screening can prevent cervical cancer from developing by detecting high-risk human papilloma virus (HPV), the cause of cervical cancer in the vast majority of cases.
With cervix self-screening, participants can screen for cervical cancer themselves, using a free screening kit delivered to their home. The screening kit is quick and very easy to use, enabling participants to collect their sample wherever they feel safe and comfortable – such as in their home or at their local health centre. A small Q-tip like swab in the kit allows people to easily and safely take their own sample. Only a small sample from your vagina is needed. There is no need to see a health care provider or have a speculum exam for this test. After collecting the sample, participants mail in their completed kit using the prepaid return envelope that's included. Both the participant and their health care provider will receive results in 4 to 6 weeks.
Through cervix self-screening, those seeking screening services may face fewer barriers including: lack of regular health care provider, cultural barriers, trauma, travel costs, child care, inconvenient clinic hours, and the need to take time away from work.
Eligible participants from select regions have been receiving invitations to contact the program for a free self-screening kit. In most cases these include people that had a Pap three years ago. Those that have yet to receive an invitation, or those that are overdue for screening, can contact the program at 1-877-702-6566 to request their kit.
- Anyone with a cervix, including women and transgender people, ages 25-69.
- Have not had a Pap test in three years or more.
- Currently live in Coquitlam, New Westminster, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Belcerra, Anmore, Earl's Cove, Langdale, Madeira Park, Pender Harbour, Sechelt, Robert's Creek, Gibsons, Pemberton, Port Alberni, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Lighthouse Country, Coombs, Errington, and Nanoose Bay.
- Cervical cancer is almost entirely preventable. Regular screening is one of the key ways you can prevent cervical cancer.
- Cervix self-screening is quick and easy. This test is done instead of a Pap test.
- In 2022, an estimated 190 people with a cervix in B.C. will be newly diagnosed with cervical cancer.
- One in 170 people with a cervix are expected to develop cervical cancer during their lifetime and one in 530 is expected to die of cervical cancer.