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SCREENING SAVES LIVES

- Women Encouraged to Get Regular Pap Tests to Reduce Risk of Cervical Cancer; Health Unit Can Help -

When it comes to being screened for cervical cancer, you’re never too old to be tested.

In Ontario, cervical cancer screening is recommended every three years for women between the ages of 21 and 69 years who are or ever have been sexually active. However, recent statistics from Cancer Care Ontario show the rate of women in their 60s getting a Pap test is lower compared to rates for women in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.

“Women need to understand the importance of being screened well into their 60s, as the risk of developing cervical cancer still exists,” says Elsie Azevedo Perry, a Registered Dietitian with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. “Regular screening saves lives!”

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit reminds local women about the importance of regular cervical cancer screening. Staying up-to-date with their Pap test is an important way to reduce the risk of cervical cancer, which in Ontario kills nearly three women every week.

Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix, which is located at the opening of a woman’s uterus. A Pap test is an effective screening tool that can find abnormal cells in a woman’s cervix before they turn into cancer. When cervical cancer is detected early, it is more treatable.

Women in the area who have a health care provider are also encouraged to book a regular Pap test. If women in Northumberland County, Haliburton County and the City of Kawartha Lakes do not have a family physician or nurse practitioner, there is still an opportunity to get a Pap test.

The Health Unit can provide free Pap tests for women without a doctor at its Sexual Health Clinics in Lindsay, Cobourg, Port Hope, Brighton and Haliburton. To book an appointment for a Pap test with a female nurse in their community, women are encouraged to call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1205.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Elsie Azevedo Perry, Registered Dietitian, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100, ext. 1218

or Shawn Woods, Manager of Communicable Disease Control, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100, ext. 1290.

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