Preventing cervical cancer

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Cervical cancer remains a significant health issue for women in Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2010, approximately 40 women were diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer. Over 8,000 women had abnormal Pap tests. The Pap test is the best tool for screening for cervical cell abnormalities.

Letter to the editor

Some of the new screening recommendations include:

• Sexually active women should start Pap Screening at age 20.

• Unless your doctor says otherwise, have a Pap test once a year for 3 years. If all results are normal, have a Pap test every 3 years.

• Annual screening may continue for some women or early start age for Pap testing may be recommended.

These are guidelines, so women are encouraged to discuss Pap screening with their health care provider to determine when their next Pap test is due.

There are usually no signs or symptoms of cervical cancer until it is advanced so it is important to take charge of your health and make sure you get screened.

How far would you go to prevent cervical cancer? The Cervical Screening Initiatives Program wants you to go the distance!

For more information on cervical cancer call 637-5000 ext. 6435 or our toll free number at 1-866-643-8719.

Vera Lynn Alteen

Regional Cervical Screening Initiatives Program Coordinator-Western Health

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