CERVICAL SCREENING (Pap test)
Every week in Ontario approximately 10 women will be diagnosed with cancer of the cervix and approximately 3 women will die from it. 90% of those cancers could have been prevented by regular pap tests. Regular screening is an essential defense against cervical cancer. Cervical cancer screening can detect early cell changes on the cervix. These changes seldom cause any symptoms, but can progress to cancer if not found and treated. Pap tests are the only way to detect changes that might lead to cancer.
What is a Pap test and is it important?
A Pap test helps find early abnormal cells on the cervix that could become cancerous. During the test, a small sample of cells is lightly scraped from the surface of the cervix and sent to a lab for testing. It's very important to get regular Pap tests as they can help detect abnormal cells so they can be treated.
Who needs a Pap test?
- All women who are, or have ever been, sexually active should have a Pap test between the approximate ages of 21-70 years.
- Screening should be initiated within three years of first vaginal sexual activity, i.e., vaginal intercourse, vaginal/oral and/or vaginal/digital sexual activity.
- You need regular pap tests even if you:
- Are no longer sexually active but have been in the past
- Are pregnant
- Are in menopause
- Have sex with women
- Have had a partial hysterectomy (which leaves the cervix in place)
- Have had a total hysterectomy because of cancer causes or because of abnormal Paps
- Have had the HPV (human pailloma virus) vaccine
How often do I need a Pap test?Pap tests are done every 3 years. If you have had abnormal results, multiply sexual partners, or have a family history of cervical cancer, pap tests maybe done more frequently. This should be discussed with your primary health care provider.
How long does it take before the results come in?It takes about 20 minutes.
How long does it take before the results come in?It can take 4-6 weeks for your results to come in.
What happens when I have an abnormal result?Your primary care provider will call you and discuss your options, such as, a repeat Pap test or referral to gynecologist.
How do I book an apt?Call your health care provider’s office and book for a Pap test today.
COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING
Ontario has among the highest rates of colorectal cancer in the world. Colorectal cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Ontario. It is also the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men after lung cancer and the third leading cause of cancer deaths in women after lung and breast cancers.
A person with colorectal cancer has a 90% chance of being cured if the cancer is caught early enough through screening. Colorectal cancer screening can be the difference between life and death.
ColonCancerCheck recommends that all Ontarians aged 50 and over be screened for colorectal cancer. For those at average risk for colorectal cancer, a simple at home test—the Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT)—once every two years is recommended.
For those at increased risk because of a family history of one or more first-degree relatives (parent, sibling or child) with a diagnosis of colorectal cancer, colonoscopy is advised.
Benefits of Screening
Being screened increases the chances of detecting colorectal cancer early. Someone with colorectal cancer has a 90% chance of being cured if the cancer is caught early.
Are you between the ages of 50-74If so, please talk to your health care provider regarding completing a FOBT kit. You can obtain the kit at Plantagenet Family Health Team, ask to see the nurse.
BREAST CANCER SCREENING
Breast cancer screening is the regular examination of a woman's breasts to find breast cancer early.
Regular breast cancer screening can find cancer when it is small, which means:
- There is a better chance of treating the cancer successfully.
- It is less likely to spread.
- There may be more treatment options.
Breast cancer screening saves lives
Likely because of screening mammography and better cancer treatments, breast cancer mortality in the Ontario population declined by roughly 37 percent for women aged 50 to 74 and by 31.5 percent for women of all ages between 1990 and 2009.
Mammograms best for most women
Mammography (breast X-ray) remains the best screening test for most women. Ontario women can receive a screening mammogram in one of two ways:
- through the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) lien, Ontario’s province-wide, organized screening program that provides high-quality breast cancer screening
- through non-OBSP sites
Women at high riskThe OBSP High Risk Screening Centres facilitate referrals for genetic assessment for women who may be at high risk for breast cancer (if appropriate; see OBSP Screening for Women at High Risk ) lien. For women who have been confirmed to be at high risk for breast cancer, these centres offer annual screening mammography and breast MRI, and facilitate follow-up breast assessment services for abnormal screens.
For more information on Cancer Screening, please visit our resources below:
Cancer Care Ontario
My Cancer IQ
Canadian Cancer Society
Society of Canadian Colposcopists