Changes to Cervical Screening from 1st December 2017
From December 2017, the two-yearly Pap smear will be replaced by a five-yearly Cervical Screening Test for women aged 25-74.
The new Cervical Screening Test will detect human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes nearly all cervical cancers. Research has found that a test for HPV every five years is more effective than, and just as safe as screening with a Pap smear every two years.
In most cases the test will still require a vaginal speculum examination and cervical sample taken. Most women will be due for their first Cervical Screening Test two years after their last negative Pap test.
Nearly all cervical cancers are caused by a HPV infection. HPV is easily transmitted via skin contact during sexual activity. It is extremely common in men and women who have ever been sexually active, with most people being infected with at least one type of HPV at some point in their life. While HPV infections are normally cleared naturally by the immune system, sometimes they cause cervical cells to become abnormal. The body is usually able to rid itself of HPV and the abnormal cells, but in some cases this doesn’t happen and abnormal cells develop into cervical cancer. The time from HPV infection to cervical cancer is usually 10-15 years.
Dalyellup Family Medical Centre runs a Women’s Health Clinic every second Friday where you can get a Pap smear done until the 30th November and from 1st December you can book in to have the new Cervical Screening Test done at the clinic when it is due.
The new National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR) will provide an invitation, reminder and recall system to prompt women to book an appointment, supporting and promoting timely participation in cervical screening.
For more information speak to your Doctor or visit: