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Cervical Screening

Cervical cancer is preventable. Yet, year after year, about 550 women are diagnosed with cancer of the cervix, and about 160 women die from this disease in Ontario.

Regular screening is an essential defence 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, if necessary, treated.

Based on new guidelines released by Cancer Care Ontario, women 21 years of age and older who are sexually active should have a cervical screening. If the results are normal, screening should be done every three years until the age of 70 years. Women who are not sexually active by the age of 21 years should delay cervical cancer screening until they are sexually active.

The Health Unit also offers free cervical screening clinics for women who do not have a health care provider. Contact a Sexual Health Nurse at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 205 for more information about cervical screening or to book an appointment.

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