The Cancer Registry sends six different letters:
Information to all 25 year old women
The Cancer Registry sends an information letter to all women living in Norway when they reach 25 years of age. This letter is sent regardless of if you have had a Pap test done earlier or not. The letter is a short description of tasks the Cancer Registry is set to perform, your rights in the programme, and why we believe it is important to have a Pap test regularly. Each month we receive names and addresses for these letters from the Central Population Register. Information letters to 25 year olds were first sent in 2005.
Reminder/new reminder to take a Pap test
The Cancer Registry sends letters to women between the ages of 26 and 69 years who have had a Pap test done more seldom than every third year. If no new test is registered the next year, a new reminder is sent. If you have a Pap test taken every three years and also have any recommended repeat tests taken, you will never receive a letter.
Letter recommending a repeat test or further assessment of the cervical sample:
The Cancer Registry sends out three different letters to women who have not had a repeat test done or had a further assessment, as recommended by national guidelines. The laboratory that examines the sample sends the results to the doctor together with a recommendation of a repeat test or further assessment. The doctor who has taken the Pap test is obligated to contact the woman and tell her the results. National guidelines recommend further repeat tests or further assessments as necessary. If no new repeat tests or assessments are registered, a letter will be sent, advising the woman to contact her doctor.These letters are sent to all womenregardless of age.
Repeat tests are recommended when irregular cells or an infection with human papilloma virus (HPV) are found in the cervix.
The letter is sent six months after the recommended time for the repeat test. In other words, if the recommended repeat test is in six months, the Cancer Registry will send a letter to the woman 12 months after the sample was taken.
If an answer is not possible because the quality of the sample is not good enough, a new test is recommended.
The reason for this can be the following: Too few cells, too much blood, poor fixation or poor marking. However, if any irregular cells are detected, these will determine the answer regardless of sample quality. The Cancer Registry sends a reminder letter to the woman 12 months after the test was done, if no repeat tests have been registered by that time.
Lack of follow-up on a sample showing cell changes that should be further clarified.
When a sample shows cell changes that should be clarified further, the physician should summon the patient for a new check-up within three months. The laboratory examining the sample sends the results to the doctor with advice on further follow-up. If no new tests are registered at the Cancer Registry, we send a letter to the laboratory that has examined the sample. If the laboratory does not have more information, they send the name of the doctor treating the patient to the Cancer Registry. We do not have the name of the doctor who has taken the sample at the Cancer Registry. The Cancer Registry contacts the doctor. In case a repeat test still isn’t registered 13 months after the sample has been taken, the Cancer Registry then contacts the woman directly and asks the woman to make an appointment with her doctor.