Oct. 23 – 29 this year marks PAP Awareness Week throughout the province.

This event is sponsored annually by the BC Cancer Agency in conjunction with many participating health care sites.

Logan Lake Health Centre will again take part by facilitating a drop-in clinic at the Health Center on Wednesday, Oct. 26 from 5 – 9 p.m. The Nurse Practitioner, Jocelyn Rhode, and her colleagues will provide PAP screening, child-minding and refreshments.

The PAP is an invaluable tool designed to screen for pre-cancer and/or cancer of the cervix.

Early detection, as with any form of cancer, allows for rapid medical treatment options.

In North America, cervical cancer is the second most common type of gynecological cancer. But, due in large part to PAP screening, this cancer has decreased dramatically in the past 50 years.

With early diagnosis and treatment, cervical cancer has a cure rate of close to 90 per cent. This figure alone should be a motivating factor to get women of all ages to attend the PAP screening clinic.

Another significant factor surrounding cervical cancer diagnosis is the fact that HPV infection is often a precursor. For this reason, the vaccination against HPV, currently available in BC, provides protection from four different types of HPV with two of these types causing 70 per cent of cervical cancer diagnoses.

This vaccination is especially valuable for girls/women between the ages of 9 – 26 years who are not yet sexually active and/or who have not been exposed to HPV. However, even women who are sexually active can benefit from the vaccine.

The HPV vaccine will not be offered at the PAP clinic but women can find out more information about it through their health care practitioner or Public Health clinic.

In planning for the clinic in Logan Lake it was again decided that an evening clinic rather than daytime would help to make this important screening procedure more accessible to women who work and/or have childcare responsibilities, as well as to students.

As mentioned, qualified child minding will be available.

For more information please contact Jocelyn at 250-523-9414 (Ext.241), Carol (Receptionist at Ext.225), or Jenny/Bonnie (Patient Educators at Ext. 224).

Please drop in on Oct. 26!