It’s one small swab for better health.
Tri-Cities residents between the ages of 25 and 69 are invited to send away for a free, at-home cervix screening test, as part of a recently-launched B.C. Cancer initiative.
The at-home test, which screens for high-risk human papilloma virus, is more accurate than a Pap test, according to HPV expert Dr. Gina Ogilvie.
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“Sometimes people might even think, ‘Oh, we’re asking women to do it because we’re trying to save money,’” Ogilvie said. “That’s actually not the case. What’s exciting about this new technology is that it’s just so much better.
“It detects the pre-cancerous lesions we’re looking for earlier, and a negative test offers greater reassurance to women that they’re not going to develop cervical cancer,” she said.
The at-home test is an attempt to reach people who – because of time constraints, geographical challenges, or previous traumatic experiences – don’t want to see a practitioner or undergo a speculum exam.
“You don’t need a practitioner to do it the way you did with, for instance, a pap smear,” Ogilvie said. “That allows us an exciting opportunity particularly to invite women who, for whatever variety of reasons, have not been able to undergo cervical screening.”
After mailing their kit in, patients will likely get their results in four to six weeks, according to a B.C. Cancer representative.
Every year, Canadians die from cervical cancer, Ogilvie said, emphasizing that the cancer is almost “entirely preventable.”
The test is available to patients throughout the Tri-Cities who have not had a Pap test in three years or more.
To learn more about the program or to order a kit, click here.
To order the kit by phone, call 1-877-702-6566.