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News Release

Durham women are encouraged to have regular Pap tests

WHITBY, ON October 16, 2014

Durham women are encouraged to have regular Pap tests

Durham Region Health Department will mark Cervical Cancer Awareness Week, October 20 to 26, by encouraging women 21 and older, who are or have ever been sexually active, to get screened for cervical cancer. 

“Regular cervical cancer screening, with a Pap test, is the best way to detect early cell changes that can lead to cervical cancer,” said Christine Gianoutsos, a public health nurse with the Health Department.

According to Cancer Care Ontario, in 2014, approximately 630 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in Ontario and about 150 women will die from this disease. “There are often no early warning symptoms of cervical cancer, which is why women should be screened when they feel healthy and have no symptoms,” explained Ms. Gianoutsos. “Cervical cancer occurs slowly and may take several years to develop. Pap tests look for abnormal changes in the cells of a woman’s cervix.” Women 21 to 69-years old should be screened every three years for cervical cancer if they are or have ever been sexually active.

Cancer Care Ontario is sending letters to women who have had a Pap test within the last three years, reminding them when they are due for their next test. Letters will also be sent to women who have not been screened in the last three years, inviting them to get screened. “These letters will help women stay up-to-date with cervical cancer screening, which may allow for early detection and prevention of cervical cancer,” added Ms. Gianoutsos.

For more information on cervical cancer screening, call Durham Health Connection Line at 1-800-841-2729 or 905-666-6241.

Media inquiries:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:

Glendene Collins – Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999

If this information is required in an accessible format, please contact the Accessibility Co-ordinator at 1-800-372-1102 extension 2009.

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For more information, please contact Health Department.