October 28, 2004

Screening for cervical cancer saves lives

NEWMARKET This week is Cervical Cancer Awareness Week and York Region Health Services reminds women to have a Pap test when you have your regular health check-up. The Pap test looks at the cells of the cervix for any unhealthy changes and can detect pre-cancerous conditions at a stage when treatment and a cure are highly possible.  
Every week, approximately 11 Ontario women will get cancer of the cervix and 3 women will die from it. The best way to prevent cancer of the cervix is to have a Pap test. Regular Pap tests can prevent 90% of cancers of the cervix. 
The good news is that York Region women are listening. Fewer York Region women are getting cancer of the cervix as compared to the rest of Ontario, with an incidence rate 13% lower than for Ontario as a whole. It is suggested that this is because more women are being screened through regular Pap tests. In fact, 78% of York Region women aged 18 to 69 years reported having had a screening Pap test in the last three years, compared to the Ontario average of 73%.
Talk to your doctor about when to start, stop and how often to have a Pap test prevent problems before they happen.
For more information about cervical health or other health-related questions, contact York Region Health Services Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653 or visit www.york.ca
For details on Cervical Cancer Awareness Week (October 24 to 30, 2004) and the Ontario Cervical Screening Program contact Cancer Care Ontario at 416-971-9800 or visit http://www.cancercare.on.ca/about_cervicalscreening.htm
Contact:  Wendy Lewis, York Region Corporate Communications Services
   905-830-4444 or 416-297-9696, Ext. 1238

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