Cervical cancer is one of the easiest cancers to prevent by identifying and curing it in its earliest stages. A Pap test can detect abnormal cells which, if treated early, can stop cancer from developing. By screening for cervical cancer every three years, women can reduce their risk of cervical cancer by 70 per cent.
Pap tests are free for women in BC and only take a few minutes to complete.
Physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, midwives and naturopathic physicians can all perform Pap tests. Women without primary care providers can use the BC Cancer Agency’s clinic locator at www.screeningbc.ca/cervix to find a clinic that will provide a Pap test.
58 per cent of those diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2014 were five years or more overdue for screening or had never been screened.
83 per cent of cervical cancer cases occurred in women between the ages of 30-69.
BC’s overall cervical cancer screening participation rate is 69.3 per cent. Participation rates are less than the BC average for some regions in BC, particularly urban areas like Richmond, Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.
Since the launch of the Cervical Cancer Screening Program in BC, the province has successfully reduced cervical cancer rates by 70 per cent.
British Columbia updated its cervical cancer screening policy in 2016. The new policy recommends that women between the ages of 25 to 69 get tested every three years. This new evidence-based policy ensures that women continue to benefit from screening while avoiding unnecessary tests and follow-up treatment.