Cervical screening is a vital tool in the prevention and early detection of cervical cancer. 

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the primary cause of almost all cervical cancer cases, making it one of the most preventable forms of cancer today. Thanks to vaccination, cervical screening, and effective treatment options, we strive to identify risks in individuals, thereby preventing the onset of invasive cancer. We urge you not to postpone scheduling your cervical screening appointment.

In Canada, where HPV vaccination and screening programs are in place, individuals are still being diagnosed with this preventable disease. In 2023, there were approximately 1,550 Canadians who were diagnosed with cervical cancer with 400 dying from the disease. Some individuals may not be aware of the importance of attending regular cervical screenings. Busy lives may lead to postponed appointments for others. 

The good news is that with the latest advancements in science and technology, including self-sampling, cervical disease can be detected and treated before it becomes invasive cancer. With self-sampling, an individual with a cervix can now privately collect their vaginal sample following instructions provided by a healthcare worker. This option helps reduce various burdens for cervical screening. Our goal is to identify individuals at risk long before invasive cancer can develop. Let's raise awareness about the importance of cervical screening and the role of HPV in cervical cancer.

Take the initiative to learn more about this preventable disease and schedule your cervical screening today. These are the moments that can truly make a difference in saving lives.

Cervical cancer is the 4th most common cancer in people with cervixes between 15 to 44 years of age across the country. It starts in the cervix, located at the lower part of the uterus. Persistent infection of certain high-risk types of the HPV virus are known to increase the risk of cervical disease. Cervical disease, if left unchecked can progress over time to cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is one of the most successfully treatable forms of cancer, as long as it is detected early and managed effectively.

Nearly all instances of cervical cancer can be attributed to the human papillomavirus (HPV). The  virus is sexually transmitted and has the potential to infect both men and women at some point during their lives. Although not everyone who tests positive for a high-risk HPV infection will go on to develop cervical cancer, if the virus is persistent and not managed by an individual’s immune system, over time the infection could cause cellular changes that may lead to cancer. This process can take many years, or even a decade, so managing a person’s wellness over time is important. 


Cervical screening guidelines may vary from province to province. Please check with your healthcare provider to learn more about what might be recommended for you.


It's completely normal to have concerns about cervical screening, potential findings, or even the prospect of visiting a healthcare provider. However, understanding your current health status can help you take care of any  health issues that may arise and can, in some cases, extend or even save your life. Regular check-ups and early detection play a crucial role in maintaining good health and addressing medical conditions before they become more serious. Prioritizing your health and well-being by staying informed and seeking medical advice when needed is a proactive approach that can lead to better outcomes and an improved quality of life.

Yes. Cervical screening tests are used to find cancer before a person shows signs of disease, or evidence of an infection. So it’s important to get regular screenings even if you are feeling fine.

Everyone perceives pain differently so it's quite possible that your experience may differ from others. The good news is that most patients report only minor discomfort during cervical sample collection for a Pap test or an HPV DNA test.

References: 

1.Canadian Cancer Society. Cervical cancer statistics. Accessed 11Jan2024.

2.ICO/IARC Information Centre on HPV and Cancer. Canada Human Papillomavirus and Related Cancers, Fact Sheet 2023. Accessed 11Jan2024.

3.World Health Organization. Cervical cancer. Accessed 11Jan2024.

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