Cervical cancer screening drops 37 per cent in Windsor-Essex

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Windsor-Essex health officials are encouraging cervical cancer screening after seeing a drop since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Erie St. Clair Regional Cancer Program in partnership with the Rapid Assessment and

Management Program (RAAMP) Clinic is offering cervical cancer screening through Pap tests for Windsor-Essex patients who do not have a family doctor.

These patients must be aged 21 to 69 and have not had a Pap test in the last 3 years.

Due to a reduction in screening over the pandemic, Pap tests in Windsor-Essex have fallen 37 per cent from 2019 to 2020. In 2020, there were 15,794 fewer Pap tests conducted in the region than in 2019.

It is important to keep in mind that routine cancer screening is safe during the pandemic, says Dr. Tamara Siddall, Regional Primary Care Lead for the Erie St. Clair Regional Cancer Program.

“Screening is safe. Getting checked regularly is safe,” says Siddall. “Keeping up with routine cancer screening means the cancer may be smaller, less likely to spread to other areas of the body, and treatment has a better chance of working when found early.”

An all-woman team of Primary Care Providers at the RAAMP clinic speak a variety of languages (including English, French, Italian, and Arabic) will provide cervical cancer screening for individuals who do not have a primary care provider.

“We want patients to feel as comfortable as possible during a routine screening appointment for a Pap test. Speaking the same language to explain the process and having the test performed by female providers are some of the ways we are working to reduce barriers in cancer screening,” says Jaime Mirea, nurse practitioner at the RAAMP Clinic.

Cervical cancer can be caused by infection with human papilloma virus (HPV). Doctors say screening with a Pap test is the most effective way to find cell changes in your cervix which may lead to cancer.

Patients with Primary Care Providers can call their family doctor or nurse practitioner to book their cancer screening at their earliest convenience or request access through RAAMP if there are any barriers in obtaining cervical or any cancer screening assessments.

To book a cervical screening appointment at the RAAMP clinic, please follow the steps below:

How to book:

  • • Those with a cervix aged 21 to 69
  • • Have not had a Pap test in 3 years
  • • Book online: www.getcheckedwindsor.ca
  • • Call: 519-252-9861 ext. 5
  • • Please note – parking will be free of charge and provisions for transportation can be provided.