According to Health Canada, most women who develop cervical cancer have not been screened in the three years prior to their diagnosis. A large majority of these women are either older, lesbian, new immigrants, live with a disability, come from the Aboriginal community, do not live within closer proximity to health services, or those from a lower socio-economic status. Specifically, based on data from the 2003 and 2005 Canadian Community Health Survey, less than two-thirds of lesbians reported having had a Pap test within 3 years of the survey.
Health care providers have started to incorporate culturally sensitive procedures in an effort to address some of these barriers. For example, BC Women’s Hospital hosts both an Asian Women’s Health clinic where services are offered in Chinese and Korean and cervical screening clinics that travel to Aboriginal communities throughout British Columbia.