Jan 09, 2024
By Bob Komsic
Canada’s most western province is going to be the first to offer an at-home screening option for cervical cancer.
As of January 29, eligible patients in B.C. will be able to request free screening kits to complete on their own and then drop off or mail to a lab and ultimately test less often if results are negative.
About seven-in-10 of all cervical cancer is caused by HPV, meaning it can be prevented through vaccination and screening.
Leading health groups believe HPV-based screening is more accurate than Pap tests.
HPV screening will not replace the Pap test in B.C., but patients and health-care providers will be able to choose.
Over time, the province says, screening will rise as it’ll allow for less less frequent testing; once every 5-years instead of every 3-years with a Pap test.
Randomized controlled trials show HPV screening is more effective at identifying those at-risk of developing pre-cancerous cervical lesions compared with Pap tests.