- All sexually active women should start screening at age 20
- For women under 20 years of age, a sexual health visit with the health care provider is recommended. Women who have received the HPV vaccine should follow the same routine screening.
- If three consecutive annual screens are negative, then follow-up screening can be done once every three years.
- At age 70, if women have at least 3 negative screens over the preceeding 10 years, and no previous abnormal Pap results, screening may cease.
- These recommendations do not apply to women with previous abnormal Pap Tests; they should continue to have annual pap tests.
- Post hysterectomy screening: subtotal hysterctomy- (cervix intact)- follow regular screening as above
- Post total hysterectomy(no cervix):no abnormal history – a sample from the vaginal vault may be recommended every 5 years as part of a comprehensive reproductive health assessment.
The Breast Screening Program offers breast screening services to women aged 50-69 years. The breast screening centres provide mammography, physical examination of the breast by a nurse, and education about breast health awareness to this population of women on a biannual basis . You do not need a doctor’s referral to make an appointment for breast screening services.
Outside of these parameters- ie women between 40 and 50- screening mammograms can be booked in the hospital at the doctor’s discretion- eg family history of breast cancer at an earlier age.
In the presence of a breast lump on physical examination a mammogram and/or ultrasound will be arranged by the physician in the hospital.In women under 40, the breasts are usually too dense for accurate mammograms; in the case of detection of a breast lump, the physician may recommend an ultrasound as an initial diagnostic tool.