Professor Ian Hammond will be presenting our upcoming free cancer update lecture - ‘Eradicating cervical cancer? Let's start with the new cervical screening test.' on November 27.
We spoke with him about what his lecture will cover and what you can expect to learn from attending below.
CCWA: What will your lecture cover?
Ian: I'll be talking about cervical cancer, the human papillomavirus and the renewed cervical screening program.The lecture will also cover the impact of the HPV vaccination and the cervical screening programs over the past 25 years.
CCWA: What can people expect to learn from your lecture?
Ian: People will learn about the changes to the traditional cervical screening program and how these changes will help to prevent further cervical cancer cases and deaths in Australia.
Some changes include:
• A five-yearly Cervical Screening Test which will replace the two-yearly Pap smear.
• A new screening age range of 25-74 years (previously 18-69 years).
• An overall decrease in screening tests performed in the average woman's lifetime from 26 to 10.
More information about the new Cervical Screening Test
1. When will I be due for the first Cervical Screening Test?
You will be due for your first Cervical Screening Test two years after your last Pap smear. Women will be contacted by the National Cervical Screening Program when their screening test is due starting at the age of 25.
2. Why has the test changed?
Based on new evidence the new Cervical Screening Test every five years is more effective and just as safe as the current Pap smear every 2 years. The change offers better protection with less testing, which is great news for women. It is expected the new test will protect up to 30% more women.
3. I've been vaccinated for HPV do I still need to do the test?
You are still required to participate in the new cervical screening as the HPV vaccine does not protect against all the types of HPV that cause cervical cancer.
4. Do I hold off on regular Pap smear testing until the new test has been rolled out?
No, if you're aged between 18-69 and are sexually active you should continue to have a Pap smear when you are due.
5. Where can I find out more?
- Department of Health, National Cervical Screening Program FAQs
- Department of Health, National Cervical Screening changes
- WA Department of health
- Cancer Council Australia
If you'd like more information about the new cervical screening test or cancer-related issues, give our Cancer Nurses a call on 13 11 20.