For patients who have been to colposcopy, knowing their HPV status can help determine how often they should have follow-up Pap tests. Because HPV testing is not publically funded it is not currently the standard of care if a patient does not/cannot pay. However it is an option for women who find annual screening post colposcopy discharge invasive or bothersome. Note that HPV testing is not recommended for patients less than age 30 as the infection usually clears.
With this in mind, for the past year I have started to offer HPV testing to patients >30 years old who have been discharged from colposcopy if they did not get HPV testing in colposcopy. If their HPV result is negative, they are low risk for cervical cancer and can resume q3 year testing. If their HPV test is positive, they still need annual Pap tests.
Here are some key points to remember:
-Collect the Pap test as usual
-On the Pap test requisition form, (attached for LifeLabs) check off HPV to request this test.
-Ensure your patient address is correct. The lab will mail them the bill for the test as it is not covered by OHIP. Current cost at LifeLabs is $90
Knowing HPV status can help women avoid unnecessary pap tests and provide peace of mind.