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Cervical Cancer Screening


The cervix is a body part that connects the uterus (womb) to the vagina (genital opening). Cervical cancer is cancer in the cervix. The goal of cervical screening is to find cell changes in the cervix before they become cancer.

Regular screening is an essential defense against cervical cancer. Cervical cancer screening can detect early cell changes on the cervix caused by persistent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. These changes seldom cause any symptoms, but can progress to cancer if not found and treated. Screening is the only way to detect changes that might lead to cancer (Ontario Ministry of Health).

When to Get Screened

Currently, the Ontario Cervical Screening Program recommends that anyone with a cervix (women, transmasculine and non-binary people) who is or ever has been sexually active have a Pap test every 3 years starting at age 21.

You can stop regular screening with Pap tests at the age of 70 if you have had 3 or more normal tests in the previous 10 years.

Where to Get Screened

The cervical cancer screening program runs out of our clinic. Appointments for your Pap testing can by made by calling our clinic at (416) 603-5888.  Pap test results are available 2-4 weeks after your test. Your provider will review them and you will be called if any follow up is needed.

HPV Vaccine

The HPV vaccine is a major breakthrough in cancer prevention. The HPV vaccine Gardasil is the vaccine used in Ontario's HPV immunization program. The vaccine protects against four types of HPVs — types 6, 11, 16 and 18. Two of these causes 70% of cervical cancers and the other two cause 90% of genital warts.

Three doses of the vaccine are required for complete protection. The HPV vaccine has been approved for use in more than 100 countries, and more than 40 million doses have been distributed worldwide. The HPV vaccine is approved for anyone with a cervix aged 9 to 45 and for males aged 9 to 26.

HPV immunization as well as regular PAP tests (starting at age 21) can reduce the risk of cervical cancer in people with cervixes. (From Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Website).

For more information about Cervical Screening click here.