Cervix self-screening detects high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) types that can cause cervical cancer. It is expected that starting in January of 2024, people in BC can complete cervix self-screening instead of seeing a provider to have a Pap test. Offering self-screening reduces many barriers to screening, improving participation and equitable access. HPV-based screening also detects pre-cancerous lesions earlier and better than cytology1,2. Cervix self-screening is quick, painless and can be done in the comfort of people’s own homes, or at local health clinic.
To find out more about cervix self-screening click here or click the image to watch the video.
HPV testing has a higher sensitivity and higher negative predictive value than cytology. As a result, the interval between negative screens can be safely extended from 3 years to 5 years.
With the availability of HPV-based self-screening, lower demand for in-person cytology testing is expected. The HPV pilot experience showed that up to 40% of people who are due to screen again are opting to complete self-screening with a vaginal swab. About 7% of patients who complete self-screening will require an in-person appointment for cytology as their recommended follow-up test. To find out more about the pilot project click here.
If an HPV-based self-screening test indicates positive results, patients will need a follow-up Pap test. You can view a flowchart of the self-screening process here. The Vancouver Primary Care Networks (PCNs) have partnered with BC Cancer to develop Pap follow-up workflows to support unattached patients in Vancouver. We are looking for medical facilities (e.g., primary care clinics, community health centers) that employ family physicians and/or nurse practitioners to support unattached patients who need a Pap test. It is roughly estimated that an average of 10 appointments per clinic will be booked per month.
The expression of interest process and program criteria will be available this fall.
The Vancouver PCN has engaged a working group of family doctors and nurse practitioners to help ensure that the workflows enable PMH attributes, deliver a high quality of care and meet the needs of the community.
For more information about this initiative or supporting unattached patients please contact Christina Pichowicz at email@example.com.