Cervical Cancer Screening

Many women are surprised to learn that cervical cancer is caused by an HPV (human papillomavirus) infection and that screening with a Pap test is the only way to find cell changes in your cervical that may lead to cancer. That’s why regular cervical cancer screening is important.

What is a Pap test?

A Pap test is a simple screening test that can help to prevent cervical cancer. A Pap test looks for abnormal cell changes on the cervix. It does not test for other cancers in the reproductive organs or for sexually transmitted infections.

A Pap test is done in a health care provider’s office. An instrument, called a speculum, is gently inserted into the vagina so the cervix can be seen. Cells are taken from the cervix and are sent to a laboratory to be examined under a microscope.

When should I be screened for cervical cancer?

The Ontario Cervical Screening Program is the provincial cervical cancer screening program that aims to prevent and reduce deaths from cervical cancer. As part of the program, you will receive letters reminding you when you are due for your next screening and result letters notifying you of your screening results. The program recommends that women have a Pap test if they are between 21 and 70 years of age and have ever been sexually active.

Where can you get screened?

There are many choices of where women can be screened for cervical cancer:

Thunder Bay District Health Unit
Sexual Health Clinic
999 Balmoral St.
Thunder Bay, ON
(807) 625-5976

Northwestern Health Unit Sexual Health Clinics:

Health Unit – Market Square
Monday: 9:00 a.m. – Noon
Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
209-308 Second Street South
Phone: 468-4503
Toll Free: 1-800-830-5978
Beaver Brae High School
Monday: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Health Unit
Monday: 9:00 a.m. – Noon
Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
75D Van Horne Avenue
Phone: 223-8777
Toll Free: 1-888-404-4231
Dryden High School
Monday 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Fort Frances
Health Unit
Monday: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon
Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
396 Scott St.
Phone: 274-9371
Toll Free: 1-800-461-3348
Fort Frances High School
Monday: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Red Lake
Health Unit
Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon
234 Howey Street
Phone: 727-2626
Toll Free: 1-800-461-3348
Red Lake District High School
Tuesday: 11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Sioux Lookout
Health Unit
Thursday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
47B Front St.
Phone: 737-2292
Queen Elizabeth High School
Monday: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

How do I book a Pap test on the Screen for Life Coach?

Women between the ages of 21 and 69 years can book a Pap test on the Screen for Life Coach by calling the Screen for Life office: (807) 684-7777 or toll free at 1-800-461-7031.

Cancer Screening:

  • Cervical cancer is preventable when you go for regular cervical cancer screening.
  • The primary cause for cervical cancer is human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
  • Cancer screening finds cancer earlier, when it is easier to treat.
  • Women between 21 and 70 years of age can get a Pap test on the Screen for Life Coach.
  • The Screen for Life Coach offers breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening services.
  • We work with Cancer Care Ontario to offer organized cancer screening programs for adults in our region. Visit www.cancercare.on.ca for more information.