New Pap test guidelines not for Alberta, says doctor
A Calgary doctor says Alberta will not likely follow new guidelines to start cervical cancer tests at a later age.
A task force recommended Canadian women wait until age 25 to get Pap tests and continue at three-year intervals.
Dr. Brian Hauck believes women should be tested starting at age 21 to detect and prevent cancers before they occur.
He was one of three Canadian experts asked to review the panel's recommendations, and all three said they could not endorse them.
"Provincial bodies are responsible for setting the guidelines in each province, and at this point — I mean it's very early but it has been addressed [in] Alberta's cervical cancer screening program — Alberta is not going to proceed with these new guidelines," he said.
But Hauck does agree with doing the test at three-year intervals.
James Dickinson, who was on the Canadian Task Force on Preventative Health Care, said 10 per cent of women under the age of 30 get an abnormal test that can lead to unneccessary treatment like surgery.
But Samantha McDowell says getting tested in her early 20s probably saved her life.
At age 23 she found out she had cervical cancer, but recovered after chemotherapy and surgery.