Based on 2009 estimates, about 1 in 149 Canadian women is expected to develop cervical cancer during her lifetime. While not as prevalent as breast cancer, it’s not something you want to ignore. Here are a few stats about cervical cancer and prevention.
- In 2011, 1300 new cases were diagnosed in Canada resulting in 350 deaths.
- Incidence and mortality from cervical cancer has decreased dramatically over the last 50 years, due largely to regular screening with Pap tests.
- You are most likely to be diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer in your 50’s.
- Most women with advanced cervical cancer are those who have never had a pap or who have waited too long between tests.
It’s common for many people to view cervical cancer as a young woman’s concern, but that’s not the real story. Although you are more likely to have an abnormal pap when you are young, that abnormality is not often associated with advanced cancer. Abnormalities in your 40’s and 50’s are often more serious and life-threatening. Staying on top of a regular pap test makes sure you are getting to it as early as possible and avoiding more significant disease.
The new guidelines for screening of cervical cancer in women aged 30-69 is every 3 years if you have a normal Pap result and no symptoms.
If it’s been a while for you, don’t wait.
Our next Well Women Visit Day is: September 8, 2014