A Pap test is a screening test for cervical cancer and can be used to find abnormal cells of the cervix before they become cancerous. The pap test is done by a health care practitioner who takes a sample of cells from the cervix with a small brush or spatula. This sample is then sent away to the lab. A pap test takes only a few minutes to do and the results come back to the clinic in 3 to 4 months. When you call to book you will be asked if you have received a notice from the cervix screening program that you are due for your pap or if you had received notice that you needed to repeat a pap you had done previously. If you have any other concerns or symptoms we will recommend that you go to your family doctor or a walk-in clinic for assessment and referral to a gynecologist. If you are not sure if you are due for your regular pap – you may call the cervix screening program @ 1-877-702-6566 or contact them on their website www.bccancer.bc.ca/screening/contact to inquire when you are due.
Pap testing is available at Willow Clinic for all people with a cervix aged 25 to 69.
You should be screened every 3 years, unless you have been instructed otherwise.
The BC Cancer Agency suggests you still get regular pap testing if you:
• have been through menopause,
• are in a same-sex relationship,
• received the HPV vaccine,
• are transgender,
• have only had one sexual partner
The test and appointment are covered by MSP and there are no additional costs.
The best time to have a pap test done is mid-cycle. A pap test can be done if you are bleeding but it is better to do it after your period has ended.
If you requested STI testing, this can be done in the same appointment. Any additional physical testing will need to be done at your family doctor.
If you wish to discuss birth control we will book a separate appointment to discuss this with one of our doctors. A birth control appointment will initially be booked virtually and an in clinic appointment will be booked as needed.
NEW: BC CANCER CERVIX SCREENING PROGRAM
The Cancer Agency will contact you directly by mail if you have abnormal results. They will also send reminders to you when you are due for your next pap. (usually in 3 years) They will use the address you have registered with your Personal Health Care card. To change the address on file call: 1-800-663-9203
We will also contact you with any abnormal results.
If you DO NOT want to receive mail communications go to their website: www.screeningbc.ca/notifications to update your notification preferences
To book an appointment please call Willow Clinic at 604-709-5611, and have your Personal Health Number with you.
For more information regarding the screening program: www.screeningbc.ca/cervix