Women who are overdue for, or have never had, a Pap Test are being urged to speak to their GP about a new self-collection option.
SA Health’s Director of Prevention and Population Health, Professor Katina D’Onise, said while the latest data shows almost 58 per cent of South Australian women are participating in cervical screening, a large group of women are missing out on the life-saving test.
“Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers and routine cervical screening is the best protection,” Professor D’Onise said.
“Eighty per cent of Australian women who develop cervical cancer have never been screened or are overdue for the test.
“Self-collection offers a real opportunity to engage new women in cervical screening and I urge women to speak to their doctor about whether the option is right for them.”
For some women self-collection is an alternative option and involves collecting their own sample using a special type of long handled cotton bud, collected in private while at the GP.
VCS Foundation Director of Medical Education, Dr Lara Roeske, said she hopes self-collection will significantly increase screening rates, particularly in regional, rural and remote communities.
“Australia is the first country to endorse self-collection in its national screening guidelines,” Dr Roeske said.
“Self-collection is an alternative pathway to overcome barriers some women experience to having a traditional screening test.
“By providing access to another screening method that is simple, quick, safe and accurate, we hope to greatly improve these women’s health outcomes.”
Self-collection is available to women 30 years and over, who haven’t had a Pap Test for four or more years. Women should speak to their doctor to find out whether this option is right for them.
Women can call the National Cervical Screening Program on 1800 627 701 to find our when their next Cervical Screening Test is due.