New cervical screening test, which replaces the old Pap test, begins 1 December 2017
The new test is a more accurate way of screening for cervical cancer and is expected to protect up to 30% more women, according to the Department of Health.
The new Cervical Screening Test will be done in a similar way to the Pap test, with a sample taken from a woman’s cervix (the opening of the uterus, at the top of the vagina).The test will look for the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can lead to cell changes in the cervix. Previously, the Pap test looked for existing changes in the cells.
In this way, the new test is a step ahead of the Pap test. Women aged 25 to 74 should have their first Cervical Screening Test two years after their last Pap test. If the results are normal, the new Cervical Screening Test will only need to be done every five years.
However, it is important to remind patients Medicare will no longer pay for the Pap screen test.
If a Pap smear is mistakenly performed or wrongly written on the pathology slip, patients will be sent an sent a private invoice from the pathology company.
Non-for-profit organisation, Jean Hailes for Women’s Health is urging eligible women to participate in the new screening program.
“We welcome the new Cervical Screening Test,” says Jean Hailes for Women’s Health CEO, Dr Vanda Fortunato. “Regular screening is a woman’s best protection against cervical cancer. You only need to be tested every five years and it can be done quickly and easily by your GP.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Jean Hailes for Women’s Health has information on the new test
Also Department of Health has produced a video explaining the new program.