Prevention and Screening Clinical Services at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is proud to announce the return of their campaign titled, ‘Pap-A-Palooza’ for April 2022. The goal of this month-long campaign is to increase awareness about cervical cancer screening and encourage eligible individuals living in Northwestern Ontario to book a Pap test to get screened for cervical cancer.
“Cervical cancer is almost entirely preventable with regular screening, follow-up of abnormal results, and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine,” explained Dr. Naana Jumah, Regional Cervical Screening and Colposcopy Lead for the Northwest region. “However, our most recent data shows that almost half of eligible individuals in Northwestern Ontario are not up-to-date with their cervical cancer screening.”
To screen for cervical cancer, anyone with a cervix between the ages of 25 and 69, who has ever been sexually active, should complete a Pap test every three years. Screening is for people who have no symptoms and generally feel fine.
“Most cervical cancers are found in women who have never been screened or have been screened less often than recommended by Ontario’s cervical screening guidelines,” stated Dr. Jumah. “Regular cervical screening is important because it can find early changes that could lead to cervical cancer. Treating these changes can prevent cervical cancer from developing.”
After a record-breaking year in 2019, where 700 Pap tests were completed throughout the duration of the campaign, Pap-A-Palooza was put on hold for two years due to the pandemic.
“Cervical cancer doesn’t stop for COVID-19,” said Kevin Ng, Screening Promotion Planner with Prevention and Screening Clinical Services at our Hospital. “We are happy to be bringing back Pap-A-Palooza for 2022. This campaign is great reminder to anyone who is due or overdue for cervical screening, to call and make an appointment with their primary care provider for a Pap test.”
“Since 2016, over 1,600 Pap tests have been completed across Northwestern Ontario as a part of the Pap-A-Palooza campaign,” shared Ng. “This year, we have 24 clinics participating across Northwestern Ontario and we are aiming to complete a total of 700 Pap tests.”
To find a participating clinic near you or to learn more about Pap-A-Palooza, visit www.tbrhsc.net/pap or call the Pap-A-Palooza Hotline at (807) 684-7787. For more information about cervical cancer screening, check out www.cancercareontario.ca/ccaw.