Map of Simcoe Muskoka


Cervical Cancer Screening

The Papanicolaou (Pap) test is a method of cervical cancer screening for healthy women who may be at risk but are not showing signs of the disease. The purpose of screening with a Pap test is to prevent cervical cancer by identifying pre-cancerous changes to the cells of the cervix. Cancer Care Ontario updated its cervical cancer screening guidelines in 2012. Between 2008 and 2011, Cancer Care Ontario recommended women return for screening in 12 months. It now recommends cervical cancer screening every 3 years for women aged 21 to 69 who are, or who have ever been, sexually active. Screening can stop at 70 years of age in women who have had 3 or more normal tests within the previous 10 years.

In 2020, over 103,400 eligible females between 21 and 69 years of age in Simcoe Muskoka completed at least one Pap test with-in a 42-month period. The cervical cancer screening participation rate among eligible Simcoe Muskoka females in 2020 was 58.5%, which was significantly higher than the overall provincial participation rate of 54.0%.

According to Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario), there is a significant decrease in the screen participation starting in 2020 due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Among women living in urban areas in Ontario between 2012 and 2014, cervical cancer screening participation increased steadily and significantly as urban neighbourhood income quintiles rose.


Page last updated June 9, 2022