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Cervical cancer screening saves lives

Originally published in Seaside Magazine, this article was written by our very own Jayme Van Vliet.

The Cervical Cancer Screening Program is an organized screening program in place to reduce cervical cancer incidence and mortality. Cervical cancer screening, commonly referred to as a pap test, is completed by a healthcare professional. A sample of cells are taken from the opening of the cervix in an area called the transition zone. The transition zone is where precancerous cellular changes occur. Cellular changes, also known as cell dysplasia, can be caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), an infection that can lead to cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. There are vaccines now available to protect you against HPV.

The BC Cancer Agency recommends pap tests every three years for asymptomatic individuals between the ages of 25-69 who have had sexual contact. This includes those who fall into any of the following categories: individuals who have been through menopause; those who have had only one sexual partner or more or who have been with the same partner for a while; if the individual has had the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine; those who are in a same-sex relationship; or if you’re a transgender person with a cervix (2020).

According to the BC Cancer Agency, you should seek earlier screening if you are experiencing abnormal vaginal bleeding; bleeding in between periods or during/after sex; bleeding after menopause; experiencing abnormal vaginal discharge or pelvic pain; or if you are experiencing pain during sexual intercourse (2020).

If you have an upcoming pap scheduled, please do not douche your vagina 48 hours before your appointment. It is best to get your pap during the middle of your cycle (two weeks after last period) to avoid having the pap done while you are menstruating. Contraceptive creams or jellies are not to be used for 48 hours before your appointment (BC Cancer Agency, 2020).

Shoreline Medical Society has discovered that a major challenge to receiving regular screening is a lack of access. To address this problem we have created “Pap Nights.” Shoreline Medical Pap Nights help to bring in individuals who consider themselves healthy and rarely see their doctor, those who cannot take time off work during regular office hours, or patients who do not have a family doctor. Walk-in patients are welcome to attend. Pap Nights run in the evening from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. A female physician or a Registered Nurse from the office will complete the Pap test for you. Shoreline Medical hosts Pap Nights at both their Brentwood Bay and Sidney locations. Pap Nights offer an inclusive and relaxing atmosphere and snacks and refreshments will be provided. By hosting Pap Nights and providing the opportunity to receive care outside of regular hours, Shoreline Medical is increasing the number of eligible patients who are receiving pap tests. The next Shoreline Medical Sidney Pap Night is April 22, 2020. Please call to secure your spot: Shoreline Sidney: 250-656-4143.

Are you due for a Pap test? Experiencing symptoms? Call your doctor to book your pap. Don’t have a doctor? Visit Shoreline Walk-in Clinic or call to book in for the next Pap Night. For more information about Pap tests please visit: http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/screening/cervix

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Ryan Liebscher

family physician

Dr Ryan Liebscher grew up and lived in Victoria before moving out east to pursue undergraduate work in microbiology in Halifax. He went on to medical school at the University of Saskatchewan where he met his wife and endured a few cold winters. They went on to Prince George to complete residency training in Family Medicine and then Ryan undertook a year of added competency training in palliative care through UBC. 

They settled on the Peninsula in 2009 to start a family. After completing his training, he worked as a locum in family practice and as a Palliative Care physician at Victoria Hospice for 4 years until settling into his own family practice in Brentwood Bay in 2014. He continues to work with the Saanich Peninsula palliative care consultation team and feels very strongly about supporting a palliative approach to care for patients in need. His other interests include meditation, Tai Chi, mindfulness, and active healthy living.


He feels grateful to work with Shoreline Medical and the wonderful team here at Brentwood Bay.

Andrew Kwasnica

family physician

Dr. Andrew Kwasnica grew up in Cordova Bay and is delighted to be able to practice medicine on the Saanich Peninsula. He has a strong interest in preventive medicine and personal health management, and invites his patients to engage fully and take charge of their own health, through careful attention to risk reduction, diet and exercise, weight management, and judicious use of pharmacologic and interventional approaches to medical conditions. His other areas of focus include internal medicine, palliative care and mental health. He is a self-professed exercise and nutrition fanatic (and dog lover), and you’ll find him on the courts, trails and slopes with his young family.

“An apple a day does not keep the doctor away, but it does improve your colonic health!”
– Dr. Kwasnica

Andrea Lewis

family physician & board member, Shoreline Sidney

Dr Andrea Lewis was born and raised in Vancouver. She spent many years at UBC, but still found time to satisfy her enthusiasm for adventure with travels to Africa and Australia. Her love of the outdoors enticed her to Newfoundland where she completed her Residency in Family Medicine and where she met her husband. Together they have raised 2 beautiful daughters and in 2014, they spent 6 months in Vanuatu providing medical care to the populace of the remote tropical Island. 

Dr Lewis has been involved in the establishment of the South Island Division of Family Practice and the Shoreline Medical Society, both of which have been very rewarding processes. She feels honoured to act as the Medical Director of Shoreline Medical Sidney and looks forward to being a part of the development of a new approach to Family Medicine.  

Sienna Bourdon

MEDICAL DIRECTOR, BRENTWOOD & DIRECTOR, BOARD
Dr. Sienna Bourdon grew up on Vancouver Island in Black Creek. She received an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry from UVic and a Medical Degree from UBC’s Island Medical Program. After completing her Family Medicine (CCFP)  training through Western University, Dr. Bourdon worked 1 year in Ontario doing inpatient hospital care, clinics, teaching and family practice locums. She moved back home to BC in the fall of 2014 and set up her own practice at Bayside Medical Centre in May 2015. Since that time she has been doing Family Medicine, walk in clinic, inpatient care and Emergency Medicine shifts at SPH. She is also very involved in leadership in the community and at the hospital. She has a keen interest in teaching and has a faculty appointment at UBC.
 
Dr. Bourdon is excited to be moving her practice to Shoreline Medical, Brentwood Bay. She places an emphasis on preventative medicine, optimizing the lifestyles of her patients to maintain health and prevent disease. Dr. Bourdon practices full-service, comprehensive Family Medicine, offering a wide range of services, and expects her patients to be active participants in managing their health.
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