News Release Archive

HEALTH--Pap Test Awareness Week in Nova Scotia
Pap Test Awareness Week takes place for the first time in Nova
Scotia from Sunday, Oct. 26, to Saturday, Nov. 1, 1997, to
increase public knowledge of the need for a yearly Pap test as a
preventive health care measure.

"Nova Scotia has one of the highest rates of cervical cancer in
Canada," said Health Minister Jim Smith. "Women must be reminded
of the importance of a yearly Pap test. It could save their

There are about 358,000 women over the age of 14 in Nova Scotia.
Fewer than half of them have a yearly Pap test. In 1996, only 42
per cent of women had a Pap test in the province.

An average of 60 women a year are diagnosed with cervical cancer
in Nova Scotia, or 13 per 100,000. This figure compares with
eight per 100,000 for Canada. About 20 Nova Scotian women die
annually of this disease.

The 1995 Nova Scotia Health Survey indicated that women 45 years
of age and older were less likely than younger women to have a
Pap test.

"Regular Pap tests can prevent cancer of the cervix in over 90
per cent of the cases," said Dr. Karen Anderson, member of the
Nova Scotia Gynaecological Cancer Screening Program Steering
Committee. "It's vital that all women have a yearly Pap test as
it can detect changes in cells on the cervix before they become

The simple test is the only way to detect any changes in the
cells of the cervix that might develop into cancer. A yearly Pap
test is recommended to ensure that any changes to cervical cells,
which may occur over many years, are not missed and cancer does
not develop.

Women can reduce their risk of developing cancer of the cervix by
having a yearly Pap test, not smoking and avoiding sex at an
early age.

Nova Scotia's first Pap Test Awareness Week is being organized by
the Nova Scotia Gynaecological Cancer Screening Program, Nova
Scotia Division of the Canadian Cancer Society and the Nova
Scotia Department of Health.

In addition to Pap Test Awareness Week, a three-year pilot
project, announced by the federal Health Department in the
spring, will begin later this year in Cape Breton to identify and
develop innovative and sustainable methods to increase Pap smear

The provincial Department of Health funds the Nova Scotia
Gynaecological Cancer Screening Program. The program started in
1991 and is the second organized cervical cancer screening
program in Canada, after British Columbia.

Activities are being organized across the province during Pap
Test Awareness Week. A list of some of the activities follows.

Please contact the Nova Scotia Gynaecological Cancer Screening
Program at 902-473-7438 to find out more about what's happening
in your community.


Contact: Lori MacLean
         Department of Health


HEALTH--Pap Test Awareness Week Events
Regional Resource Network Activities Planned
Pap Test Awareness Week
Oct. 26-Nov. 1, 1997

Display and information booth
Yarmouth Mall
Oct. 29, 30 and 31, 1-3 p.m.
Contact: Barbara Hinckley or Carolyn Richardson
         NSGCSP resource persons

Women's Health Fair
Digby Legion Hall
Oct. 23, 2-8 p.m.
Contact: Mary Hyland, NSGCSP resource person

Well Woman Clinic and Women's Health Symposium
Lawrencetown Elementary School
Nov. 8, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Contact: Karen Lewis, public health nurse

Display and information booth
Wilson's Pharmasave, Berwick
Oct. 23, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Young Women's Wellness Watch
The Red Door
Oct. 25, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Contact: Phyllis Sweet, public health nurse
         902-542-6310 (a.m.), 902-679-1411 (after 2 p.m.)

Display and information booth
Fort Edward Mall
Oct. 30, 2-9 p.m. (tentative)
Contact: Dayle Baxter-Todd, NSGCSP resource person

Women's Wellness Clinic
Aberdeen Hospital (old nurses' residence)
Nov. 1, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Contact: Nancy Clarke, public health nurse

St. Luke's Parish Hall, Liscomb
Oct. 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Contact: Alice Hewitt, public health nurse

Cape Breton Regional Hospital
Oct. 29
Contact: Lori Reid, NSGCSP resource person
         902-567-8000, ext. 2419
NOTE TO EDITORS: NSGCSP--Nova Scotia Gynaecological Cancer
Screening Program.


ngr                   Oct. 27, 1997                8:45 pm