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Women's Health Check

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Cervical Cancer Screening (Pap Testing)


Do I need a referral?

A referral to the Women's Health program is not needed; patients may self-refer. However, if you do not have a regular family physician here in Fort McMurray, you cannot book an appointment - you must have previously connected with a local family physician, as we need to specify the physician to whom the results are to be forwarded for review. We cannot review test results with patients, either in person or over the phone - you will need to book an appointment with your family doctor at a later date to discuss your results.

When should you have a Pap test?

If you've ever been sexually active, you should begin having regular pap tests by the age of 25. Unless your Family Physician has reason to place you on a more frequent screening schedule (past abnormalities, family history, etc), pap tests should be completed once every three years.

How effective is Pap Testing?

Pap tests are extremely effective; regular testing prevents 9 in 10 cases of cervical cancer. Screening can save your life.

Who will conduct my pap test?

All pap tests at the WBPCN are performed by female nurses.

How long does the test take?

The test itself is incredibly quick; it takes less than 5 minutes. However, we make up to 45 minutes available for every patient: after the test, you are free to discuss any sexual health concerns you may have with your nurse. STI screening can be incorporated into your visit.

Do your nurses conduct breast exams during the test?

Research has shown that the clinical breast exam (manual examination) is not an effective screening method; if you are concerned about abnormalities or changes in your breasts, this needs to be addressed in a visit with your family physician. Otherwise, asymptomatic women are recommended to begin mammography at the age of 50.

Taking charge of your health couldn't be easier. One call. One Test. Once every three years. For more information about cervical cancer and pap testing, please visit www.screeningforlife.ca/cervical.

Call our reception to book your appointment today

(780) 714-2193​​​