October 15 to 19 is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Week and the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario (CCSEO) is encouraging people with a cervix to stay up-to-date with regular Pap tests. It is estimated that in 2018 about 748 women in Ontario will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and about 160 women will die from the disease.
To help encourage cervical cancer screening, CCSEO, in partnership with Queen’s University Department of Gynecology program, will be travelling to communities across southeastern Ontario and running clinics to provide pap tests to people with a cervix between the ages of 21-69 without the requirement of a family doctor.
“For those who do not have a family physician, these clinics are a great opportunity to be screened for cervical cancer in a fast, supportive and convenient fashion,” says Dr. Hugh Langley, Regional Primary Care Lead and a physician at CCSEO. “The pap smear takes just 10 minutes and can detect minor, easily treatable changes in the cervix, well before any cancer can develop.”
Known as ‘Pap Party 2018’ these annual clinics are only available in southeastern Ontario and only during Cervical Cancer Awareness Week. Now in its fourth year, the clinics will travel to Belleville, Tyendinaga, Kingston and Napanee. They are staffed by Queen’s University medical students and residents and are under the guidance of Dr. Julie Francis, Regional Cervical Cancer Lead.
“Having these Pap Party clinics is an important measure in trying to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer,” says Dr. Francis. “A pap is the most effective screening tool we have to reducing cervical cancer by more than 80 per cent in those with a cervix and by opening it to individuals who may not have a family doctor or may be overdue for their pap smear, we are making it easier than ever for them to get screened.”
Last year, 15 per cent of the pap smear tests done at these clinics showed abnormalities that required further follow-up with a physician.
“As a result of the clinic participants taking 10 minutes out of their day to have a pap smear done, we were able to follow-up with them and offer treatment right away, saving them time, stress and worry down the road,” says Dr. Francis.
This year the Pap Party clinics will be in:
- Belleville October 15, 5:30 pm-7:30 pm
- Tyendinaga October 16, 5:30 pm-7:30 pm
- Kingston October 17, 5:30 pm-7:30 pm
- Napanee October 18, 5:30 pm-7:30 pm
Anyone who is interested in booking an appointment is asked to call Mia at 1.800.567.5722 extension 7802.