Creating an alternative cervical cancer screening method
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Lakehead University’s Ingeborg Zehbe’s research team is creating and promoting a culturally safe self-testing method for Indigenous women to reduce high cervical cancer rates in a vulnerable population. First Nations women in Ontario are approximately twice as likely to get cervical cancer as the mainstream population. The Anishinaabek Cervical Cancer Screening Study (ACCSS) hopes that by increasing cervical cancer screening in First Nations communities, the number of new cases of cervical cancer will decrease. Health care providers and women from these communities stress that culturally sensitive education is needed.

ACCSS is moving forward on the journey toward better health in First Nations by working together with women and health care providers from the communities to promote awareness, increase screening, and reduce the incidence of cervical cancer in First Nations women.

“There are a number of structural barriers to care for Indigenous Peoples in Northwestern Ontario. First Nations women avoid Pap tests due to its invasive nature....We had to find a way to provide screening that would be comfortable to them.”
Ingeborg Zehbe
Lakehead University researcher
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