Un­der the ’scope

Women's Health Australia - - HEALTH -

Lis­ten up, ladies: this month brings some changes to cer­vi­cal can­cer screen­ing. Here’s the low­down.

What’s go­ing on?

In­stead of a pap test every two years, you’ll now have a new cer­vi­cal screen­ing test every five years. The pro­ce­dures are pretty sim­i­lar. An­other thing? Screen­ing will start from 25, rather than 18.

Why the change?

In a nut­shell, “new ev­i­dence and bet­ter technology that’ll help im­prove early de­tec­tion of cer­vi­cal ab­nor­mal­i­ties,” says Joe Tooma, CEO of the Aus­tralian Cer­vi­cal Can­cer Foun­da­tion. The new test looks for hu­man pa­pil­lo­mavirus (HPV) “that causes the ab­nor­mal cell changes, prior to the de­vel­op­ment of can­cer. HPV in­fec­tion is re­spon­si­ble for

99.7 per cent of all cer­vi­cal can­cers.” As for the age change? “Re­search has shown that cer­vi­cal can­cer is ex­tremely rare in women un­der 25,” ex­plains Tooma. “Screen­ing hasn’t re­duced the number of cases in this age group.” (Though check in with your doc at any stage if you’re wor­ried.)

So, what next?

If you’ve al­ready had a pap test, have your next screen­ing two years later. From 1 De­cem­ber on­wards, you’ll be in­vited to five-yearly cer­vi­cal screen­ing tests. Sign up for a free text and email re­minder at accf.org.au. Sorted.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.