Renewed National Cervical Screening Program

Welcome to The Station on Tanti, Family and Women’s Clinic in Mornington on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula. We are very excited that our first blog is on a topic very important to the health and wellbeing of all women. Today, and as our clinic has a particular interest in Women’s Health, I want to promote awareness of the Renewed National Cervical Screening Program as new changes are taking place on the 1st December 2017.

What you Need To Know

The two yearly Pap test for women aged 18 to 69 will change to a five yearly human papillomavirus (HPV) test for women aged 25 to 74

Despite these changes to the screening program it is important to note that you should attend your GP for review if you have any new symptoms such as abnormal bleeding either between periods or after intercourse, vaginal discharge or pain. This refers to women of any age despite the guidelines as you need to be reviewed  and examined by your GP.

Women will be due for the first Cervical Screening Test two years after their last Pap test. Until 1st December when these new guidelines take effect women ages 18 to 69 years should continue to have their pap tests when due.

It is also important to note that even if you have had a HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccine in the past you will still require cervical screening. The reason for this is because the HPV vaccine does not protect you against all the types of HPV that may cause cervical cancer.

It is so important that we continue to promote HPV vaccination. A report from myhealthcommunities.gov.au from 2013 show that the local Mornington Peninsula immunisation rates were at around 80%. This is good and above average but we can do better ladies!

Summary

In summary the changes to the screening program :

  • women will be invited when they are due their cervical screening to participate via the National Cancer Screening Register
  • The age of cervical screening commencement will increase from age 18 to 25 years
  • the Pap smear will be replaced with the more accurate Cervical Screening Test
  • the interval  between Negative tests will change from two to five years
  • The age of exit from the program will increase from 70 to 74 years

If you have any concerns or questions please contact our Mornington clinic or book an appointment with a member of our team and we will be happy to help. For further information and FAQ please follow this link on cancerscreening.gov.au.


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