Eliminating cervical cancer in Canada

What’s next for cervical screening and follow-up?

The following actions to enhance cervical screening and follow-up are happening now:

  • Provinces and territories are making the switch to HPV primary screening for cervical cancer. Advancing implementation efforts will require strategies to address primary care shortages, processes for laboratory validation for the HPV test and appropriate IT infrastructure to support new care pathways.
  • Cancer agencies and programs are engaging with community partners to advance equitable, culturally safe approaches to care and address barriers to cervical screening and follow-up. This includes people who live in rural and remote settings, members of some racialized communities, 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals, and First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Strategies being considered include improving public awareness of HPV primary screening.
  • Self-determined priorities among First Nations, Inuit and Métis are driving action to enable culturally safe care closer to home, including HPV self-screening as a mechanism to enable trauma-informed care.
  • Cancer agencies and programs are evolving how they collect and report data on cervical screening at jurisdictional and pan-Canadian levels to reflect system changes toward HPV primary screening. This includes expanding data sources to better understand which populations face barriers to screening and follow-up and how to improve access.
  • Success depends on coordinated, timely and appropriate follow-up for people with a positive cervical screening test. It will be essential to bring follow-up care closer to home for First Nations, Inuit and Métis as well as all people in Canada who must travel significant distances to receive care, and others who have experienced barriers to attendance at follow-up. This will help ensure people who receive a positive HPV result requiring follow-up receive the care they need in a timely way.