Whats happening to Cervical Cancer screening ?
Did you know your pap smears are changing? Many women don't and some don't even realise that the change is imminent and also very exciting!
So why has this come about? Well the normal pap smear can only pick up abnormal cells on the cervix. The new test will be able to pick up the HPV virus which causes changes in the cells of the cervix, which can lead to cervical cancer.
When will this start? If all goes to plan the new cervical screening test will start in December 2017.
What else do I need to know about the new test?
- Screening age will increase from 18 to 25 and will stop at age 74
- You need to have a test every 5 years now and not 2 yearly
- You will be recalled by the cervical cancer register when it is time for your test
- If you have any symptoms at any age of abnormal vaginal bleeding you need to see your Dr.
- You will be due for the first Cervical Screening Test two years after your last Pap test
- If you have a positive Screening test you will be referred to a gynaecologist for a colposcopy
- If you have a negative screening test you will be retested in 5 years time
- If your last test was abnormal, or low grade changes you will have a screening test for HPV at your next scheduled appointment
- If your last test was for high grade changes and you have treatment, you will have yearly HPV tests until you have 2 consecutive negative tests. Then you will reenter 5 yearly screening
In Australia this is a great step forward in picking up and treating early changes to lower the incidence rates of Cervical Cancer. We have already seen massive improvements in the overall levels of cervical changes dropping due to the implementation of the HPV vaccine program.