Pap-A-Palooza returns: It’s time to book your Pap test
by Caitlund Davidson
Prevention and Screening Clinical Services at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) and 30 health care organizations across Northwestern Ontario are celebrating the launch of Pap-A-Palooza 2023. Throughout the month of April, this campaign aims to increase awareness about cervical screening and encourage eligible individuals living in Northwestern Ontario to book a Pap test.
“Many people don’t know that cervical cancer is almost always preventable,” said Dr. Naana Jumah, Regional Cervical Screening and Colposcopy Lead for the North West Regional Cancer Program. “Through regular screening with a Pap test and follow-up of any abnormal results, changes can be detected early and treated.”
The Ontario Cervical Screening Program recommends having a Pap test every three years if you have a cervix, are age 25 to 69, and are or have ever been sexually active. Cervical screening is for people at risk of getting cervical cancer, but who have no symptoms and generally feel fine.
“Last year we saw the return of Pap-A-Palooza after a two year hiatus,” said Kevin Ng, Screening Promotion Planner with Prevention and Screening Clinical Services at TBRHSC. “It was encouraging to see the number of health care providers that came forward to participate and help to increase screening rates in their communities. I’m happy to say that together with our partners, we surpassed the number of Pap tests that we had set out to complete. We’re looking forward to another successful campaign in 2023.”
The goal of this year’s campaign is for the 30 participating organizations to complete over 800 Pap tests.
“For anyone who has been putting off making an appointment, Pap-A-Palooza is a great reminder,” said Dr. Jumah. “In Northwestern Ontario, almost 50 per cent of eligible people are due for cervical screening. This campaign is an opportunity for us to promote the importance of screening and get people thinking about their health.”
To find a participating clinic near you or to learn more about Pap-A-Palooza, visit tbrhsc.net/pap-a-palooza or call the Pap-A-Palooza Hotline at (807) 684-7787.