Cervical cancer among Aboriginal women in Canada.

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Publisher: CMA Impact Inc.
Document Type: Report
Length: 1,224 words
Lexile Measure: 1900L

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If cervical cancer is diagnosed early and treated, the chances of a cure are very high. The Papanicolaou (Pap) test is used to detect abnormal cells that could indicate cervical cancer. Routine Pap testing is one of the pillars promoted to prevent cervical cancer. Measuring participation in screening for cervical cancer is a critical indicator of the success of prevention efforts. Rates of screening have historically been low among Aboriginal women (Metis, Inuit and First Nations) in Canada. (1,2)

A summary of the results of several Canadian studies about the rates of screening in Aboriginal populations is available in Appendix 1 (available at www.cmaj.ca/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1503 /cmaj.110523/-/DC1). High rates of screening (75%-87%) have been reported in both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal groups in surveys by Statistics Canada, although the results varied as to which group had the highest rate. (3-6) The 2002/03 First Nations Regional Longitudinal Health Survey (7) reported screening rates for cervical cancer among First Nations women that were comparable with those reported in the rest of the Canadian population. (4) More recently, in 2005, a large proportion of women in Nunavik reported having had a Pap smear in the previous two years (72% among 18-24 year olds, 85% among 25-34 year olds, 80% among both 35-14 and 45-54 year olds, and 71% among 55-65 year olds), (8) and in the previous three years (77%, 84%, 62%, 70% and 67%, respectively). (9) These rates are close to those reported for women in the general Canadian population. (4) This pattern was also observed among Metis women in Manitoba, who were reported as having a comparable rate of screening for cervical cancer with other women in the province. (10)

In 2002, the National Aboriginal Health Organization conducted a telephone survey with First Nations people across Canada to meas ure, among other things, the use of preventive health...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A287517048