A BC-wide cervix self-screening program will be available starting 29 January 2024, including a first-in-Canada option to screen at home. Women and individuals aged 25 to 69 with a cervix will be able to order a kit to self-screen for the human papillomavirus (HPV), the leading cause of cervical cancer, or have their screening sample collected by a health care provider, and will have access to a network of medical professionals who will support those identified to be at higher risk. The test is designed to be more accurate, comfortable, and convenient to encourage more women across all population groups throughout the province to get screened, including in more rural and remote communities.
In addition to the self-screening program, the province is making HPV testing its primary screening method because it detects the virus before it can cause cancer and is more accurate and widely accessible. Pap tests are the current primary screening method.
The transition to HPV screening by a medical-care provider will be phased-in over the next 3 years by age group, starting with people 55 and older. All self-collected samples will be processed using HPV testing from the end of January.
Patients can order a self-screening kit as of 29 January 2024 at www.screeningbc.ca/cervix.
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