Motorcycle enthusiast promotes Pap tests

Photo courtesy of Peter Foulds

Bikers visiting Port Dover on Friday the 13th encouraged to stop by the Regional Cancer Program booth for cancer screening info and giveaways.

Grimsby resident Kristen Selway feels like cancer surrounds her. And with good reason. Her father died from prostate cancer, her grandfather passed away from stomach cancer and her aunt from breast cancer. Her mother is a gynecological cancer survivor.

“I feel like cancer is everywhere, but I’m not afraid of it,” said Kristen, 42. Her family’s experiences encourage her to make healthy lifestyle choices including participating in cancer screening for prevention and early detection.

She currently participates in the Ontario Cervical Screening Program (OCSP), which offers free Pap tests to women ages 21 to 69 every three years to screen for signs of cervical cancer. The goal is to help prevent and reduce the number of deaths from this disease by providing women with access to free, high-quality Pap tests by their family doctor or nurse practitioner. Cervical cancer is almost entirely preventable, but the only way to detect signs is with a Pap test.

October 16 marks the beginning of Cervical Cancer Awareness Week, and Kristen hopes the week will act as a reminder to women to get screened. She’s also a motorcycle enthusiast and urges fellow riders at October’s Friday the 13th event in Port Dover to visit the Regional Cancer Program’s booth for cancer screening information and giveaways. Anyone not attending can find cancer screening information at

The Regional Cancer Program encourages participation in the Ontario Cervical Screening Program, Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP) and the ColonCancerCheck program.

The OBSP offers free mammograms to women aged 50 to 74 with no signs of breast cancer. It’s recommended that these women get a mammogram every two years since early detection through mammography can result in significant health benefits including increased treatment options and better survival rates.

ColonCancerCheck is a province-wide screening program that can catch early signs of colon cancer, a highly treatable disease when caught early. It’s recommended that men and women, ages 50 to 74, with no symptoms or family history, take this test every two years as part of their routine medical care. Kristen plans to start screening through the OBSP and ColonCancerCheck once she turns 50.