Good News around the Pap Test Result Delay

Like many of you, I have been frustrated by the long delay in receiving pap test results in the past 18 months. The delay has been due to a combination of factors including a surge in volumes post pandemic and a shortage of cytotechnicians.

There has been considerable effort and interventions to address these factors and we should all notice that the turn around times are improving. As of May 2023, most patients should receive their results in four months or less and this should continue to improve with a return to standard times of 10-14 days by the end of the summer (2023).

We can reassure our patients that the temporary specimen processing delay is unlikely to impact diagnosis or treatment due to the long natural history of HPV infection and cervical pre-cancer and the potential for abnormal cells to resolve on their own.

Let’s all stay healthy!

Dr. Meghan Davis, B. Eng. MD FCFP

Primary Care Lead, HNHB Regional Cancer program