Cervical cancer screening in Canada: 2021/2022

About this section

Organized cervical screening programs are available in most provinces. These programs screen eligible individuals who are asymptomatic (no signs or symptoms of cervical cancer present) and at average risk for cervical cancer. This section describes cervical cancer screening programs, guidelines, and recruitment methods in provinces and territories across Canada. Where organized screening programs are not available, screening services may be accessed opportunistically (outside the organized program) through a primary care provider (PCP).

Cervical screening programs and guidelines

Currently, nine provinces have organized cervical screening programs. The jurisdictions that do not have organized cervical screening programs often offer opportunistic screening services through primary care providers.

person sitting in a waiting room with a healthcare provider calling them in to an appointment

Cervical screening programs in Canada

P/T Program start date Program name Agency responsible for program administration
YT No organized screening program available
(plans are underway to expand Yukon’s ColonCheck screening program to include cervical screening)
Yukon Government Health and Social Services
NT No organized screening program available
NU No organized screening program available
BC 1955 Cervix Screening Program BC Cancer
AB 2000 Alberta Cervical Cancer Screening Program Alberta Health Services
SK 2003 Screening Program for Cervical Cancer Saskatchewan Cancer Agency
MB 2000 CervixCheck CancerCare Manitoba
ON 2000 Ontario Cervical Screening Program Ontario Health (Cancer Care Ontario)
QC A cervical screening program is currently in development
NB 2014 New Brunswick Cervical Cancer Prevention and Screening Program New Brunswick Cancer Network (NB Department of Health)
 NS 1991 Cervical Cancer Prevention Program Nova Scotia Health Cancer Care Program
PE* 2001 Cervical Cancer Screening Service Health PEI
NL 2003 Cervical Screening Initiatives Program Cancer Care Program, Eastern Health

PE: *In 2001, had Pap clinic run by a general practitioner, which had outreach clinics. In 2015, Health PEI established a pap service, “Cervical Cancer Screening Service”. The service provides result letters for those that have a pap through outreach clinics. If a provider outside of these clinics takes a pap, the lab supports the clinicians by providing reminders on abnormal results that have not had a follow-up. Otherwise, screening in PEI is primarily opportunistic.