Cervical Cancer Screening

Cervical cancer is most commonly caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Prolonged or recurring infections can result in changes to the cells of your cervix that could eventually become cancerous. This is why it is important for women ages 21 and older who have ever been sexually active to go for regular Pap tests. A Pap test is used for cervical cancer screening and it can find changes in the cells so they can be treated before they turn into cancer.

What is a Pap test?

A Pap test is a cancer screening test that can detect early cell changes in the cervix that could lead to cancer. To conduct this test, a healthcare professional (doctor, nurse practitioner, or trained registered nurse on the Screen for Life Coach) will gently insert an instrument called a speculum into the vagina so they can see the cervix clearly. Then they will use a small brush to take a sample of the cervix cells to be sent to the lab for testing. The procedure is short and will only take a few minutes.

When should I be screened for cervical cancer?

The Ontario Cervical Screening Program is the provincial screening program that aims to prevent and reduce deaths from cervical cancer. As part of the program, you will receive letters reminding you when you are due for your next screening Pap test. The program recommends that women have a Pap test if they are 21 years of age and older and have ever had any sexual skin-to-skin contact.

Where can you get screened?

Thunder Bay District Health Unit
Sexual Health Clinic
999 Balmoral St.
Thunder Bay, ON
(807) 625-5976

Northwestern Health Unit Sexual Health Clinics:

Health Unit – Market Square
Monday: 9:00 a.m. – Noon
Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
209-308 Second Street South
Phone: 468-4503
Toll Free: 1-800-830-5978
Beaver Brae High School
Monday: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Health Unit
Monday: 9:00 a.m. – Noon
Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
75D Van Horne Avenue
Phone: 223-8777
Toll Free: 1-888-404-4231
Dryden High School
Monday 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Fort Frances
Health Unit
Monday: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon
Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
396 Scott St.
Phone: 274-9371
Toll Free: 1-800-461-3348
Fort Frances High School
Monday: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Red Lake
Health Unit
Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon
234 Howey Street
Phone: 727-2626
Toll Free: 1-800-461-3348
Red Lake District High School
Tuesday: 11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Sioux Lookout
Health Unit
Thursday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
47B Front St.
Phone: 737-2292
Queen Elizabeth High School
Monday: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

There are many choices of where women can be screened for cervical cancer:

  • Your family doctor or nurse practitioner
  • The Screen for Life Coach (for women 21 to 69 years of age)
  • Your District Health Unit

How do I book a Pap test on the Screen for Life Coach?

Women between the ages of 21 and 69 years can book a Pap test on the Screen for Life Coach by calling the Screen for Life office: (807) 684-7777 or toll free at 1-800-461-7031.

Cancer Screening:

  • Cervical cancer is preventable when you go for regular cervical cancer screening.
  • The primary cause for cervical cancer is human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
  • Cancer screening finds cancer earlier, when it is easier to treat.
  • Women between 21 and 69 years of age can get a Pap test on the Screen for Life Coach.
  • The Screen for Life Coach offers breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening services.
  • We work with Cancer Care Ontario to offer organized cancer screening programs for adults in our region.┬áVisit www.cancercare.on.ca for more information.