Government of New Brunswick
line

1) What is the Cervical Cancer Prevention & Screening Program?

The New Brunswick Cervical Cancer Prevention and Screening Program (cervical program) is a provincially-organized screening program dedicated to ensuring NB women aged 21-69 participate in regular Pap test screening. This program is managed by the New Brunswick Cancer Network at the Department of Health, in partnership with healthcare providers and the regional health authorities. Its purpose is to reduce the rates of cervical cancer in New Brunswick by taking an organized provincial approach to improving prevention, early detection and screening of this preventable disease.

Since 2011, the cervical program has been responsible for the central provincial Pap test repository, a secure database of Pap test results performed in the province. The Cervical Cancer Prevention and Screening Program launched in fall 2014.

Program letters will be sent to women and health care providers when screening or follow-up is overdue. This is to make sure that women who have not been participating in screening are invited and that those with significantly abnormal test results do not get lost to follow-up.

The program is an active member of the Pan-Canadian Cervical Cancer Screening Network, under the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.

2) How does the cervical program work?

The NB Cervical Cancer Prevention & Screening Program is administered by the New Brunswick Cancer Network at the Department of Health.

The program monitors screening activity (Pap and HPV tests) to determine who is screened and who is not screened within the province.

Program facts:

  • Women getting Pap tests are automatically participants of the program.
  • You continue to get Pap tests from your primary healthcare provider (doctor or nurse), as usual.
  • The lab sends your test results to your primary health-care provider. They advise you of your test results.
  • The labs also securely transfer the results of Pap or Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) tests to a provincial database for the program.
  • The program tracks screening activity based on recommendations of the New Brunswick Cervical Cancer Prevention and Screening Program Clinical Practice Guidelines.
  • Women between the ages of 21-69 with no record of having had a Pap test will be invited by the program.
  • The program may send letters to women and to primary health-care providers when screening or follow-up is overdue.
  • Women who get Pap tests regularly may never receive a letter.
  • The New Brunswick Department of Health provides the program with personal health information (name, address, birth date and Health Care Number) so it can send you program letters, as required.

3) What are Clinical Practice Guidelines?

The NB Cervical Cancer Prevention & Screening Clinical Practice Guidelines were developed in 2011 by a multi stakeholder working group as a guide to assist health care providers and women in optimizing cervical screening in New Brunswick. The clinical practice guidelines document was developed to establish evidence-based recommendations for NB women with normal and abnormal screening Pap tests. These guidelines should be used by health-care providers in addition to sound clinical decision making.

Health-care professionals can go to New Brunswick Cervical Cancer Prevention and Screening Program Clinical Practice Guidelines for more information.

4) What information does the program keep?

By adhering to provincial privacy laws, the program uses available cervical screening information from the Cervical Cancer Prevention & Screening Repository and Department of Health to ensure New Brunswick women are included within the provincially organized screening program.

The New Brunswick Department of Health provides the cervical program with personal health information (name, address, birth date and Health Care Number) and some screening data (colposcopy and cancer diagnosis, as applicable) so it can send you program letters, as required.

Since January 2011, the laboratory results of women’s Papanicolau (PAP) and HPV tests done within New Brunswick have been securely transferred from the labs to a central provincial repository. This valuable repository data helps the program to determine who is screened and who is not screened within the province. The results of any follow-up tests such as colposcopies are also kept for program monitoring. All of this information will also help to improve the program over time.

5) How is my information kept private?

Privacy laws ensure that the program and cervical cancer prevention and screening repository collects and uses ONLY the information required as part of monitoring and communicating with you about your cervical cancer screening information. All personal health information is safeguarded by the Personal Health Information Privacy and Access Act that governs the way in which organizations and individuals collect, maintain and use personal information in the delivery of health services. This means that:

  • all program staff are required to protect your privacy
  • the names of screening participants will not be used in any program evaluation or public reports.

If you want more information on how your privacy is protected or wish to raise a concern about how your personal information is handled by the cervical program, please visit the Personal Health Information Privacy and Access Services  or contact the program at 1-844-777-3443.

6) What if I do not want to be part of the program?

If you have questions, concerns or do not want to be part of the NB Cervical Cancer Prevention and Screening Program, call 1-844-777-3443.

By choosing to not participate, the cervical program will no longer send you letters to invite, remind, or advise you of when you are overdue for cervical screening tests.

You can continue to get Pap tests for cervical cancer screening with your doctor or nurse practitioner even though you have not to participate in the the cervical program.

Remember cervical cancer can be prevented.

7) What if I want to return to the program?

You may return to the NB Cervical Cancer Prevention and Screening Program at any time.

To return to the program, call 1-844-777-3443.

By choosing to participate, the cervical program will send you letters to invite, remind, or advise you of when you are overdue for cervical screening tests, as applicable to your cervical screening activity.

Remember cervical cancer can be prevented.

8) How can I find out more about the program?

To learn more about New Brunswick

Cervical Cancer Prevention and Screening Program, contact the program at 1-844-777-3443 or visit our website for more information.