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Cervical health challenge issued to Greater Victoria women

Getting screened regularly best way to avoid cervical cancers

Regular screening is one of the best ways to avoid the risk of developing cervical cancer.

With that in mind, the Island Sexual Health Society has launched a three-step challenge for women in an effort to reduce the number of cases of cervical cancer in B.C.

Bobbi Turner, the society’s executive director, says the first step is becoming educating about the importance of screening.

“Sometimes the cells of the cervix become abnormal. Over time, these cells can change to cervical cancer,” she said.

The second step is to get screened. Island Sexual Health, the region’s only dedicated sexual health care service provider, conducted nearly 4,000 screenings last year.

“Screening helps to find (those) abnormal cells early when they can be easily removed,” Turner added.

The third step is to donate to the non-profit society. Island Sexual Health offers sex education and support, as well as a wide range of clinical services, including pap smears and testing for sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. It serves roughly 22,000 clients every year.

Of the 4,000 cervical cancer screenings it did last year, nearly one-quarter required some type of followup.

To further promote their Cervical Cancer Screening Challenge, the society is hosting two drop-in cervical cancer screening clinics for women without access to a family doctor or a GP.

They happen at the Island Sexual Health Centre, 101-3960 Quadra St., on Oct. 25 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., and Nov. 6 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information on the campaign or to book a pap test appointment outside of these hours, call 250-592-3479.

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