Cervical cancer screening and prevention
How to protect yourself from cervical cancer by getting a Pap test and the HPV vaccine.
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Why you should screen
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the leading cause of cervical cancer. Screening can help catch HPV infections before they become cancer.
- almost 100% of all cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV
- 3 out of 4 women will get the HPV virus at some point in their lives
There are usually no signs or symptoms.
When to go screening
Cervical cancer screening is recommended every 3 years for all women who:
- are age 21 and older
- have ever been sexually active
If you need treatment, your doctor will discuss the options with you.
Use the tool to find out about when you should get screened for cervical and other cancers.
Where to go for screening
See your doctor or nurse practitioner. They will do a simple test for you called a Pap test.
All Pap tests are covered by OHIP.
Cervical Screening Program
The Ontario Cervical Screening Program is a program run by Cancer Care Ontario. This is a free reminder program. Every woman in the province who qualifies for a Pap test will receive a letter to remind them when it is time for screening.
- you don’t need a doctor’s referral
- you don’t need to sign up
- you may drop out of the program any time
HPV vaccination program
The HPV vaccine is available to all Grade 8 girls in Ontario through clinics at school. OHIP pays for the program.
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