From 1 December 2017, the Pap Smear in Australia is being replaced by the Cervical Screening Test.
The Pap Smear test has been replaced with a new Cervical Screening Test, which is performed every five years. Our recall and reminder system at Southland Medical Centre will change to reflect the changes from the National Cervical Screening Program. You will still receive reminder letters, so please check if your address is current at the service desk. You can make a booking for the new screening test here.
What are the changes?
The test frequency has changed from 2 to 5 years. This is because the new test looks directly for the human papillomavirus (HPV), whereas the Pap smear looked for changes in the cervix cells.
The test is more accurate, and will help to reduce deaths by cervical cancer by 30%. Of those that do die from cervical cancer, 80% had never been screened, or screened regularly. A simple screen will help to identify this easily treatable disease.
The age that screening should begin has changed to 25. Women should be screened up to the age of 74. You can however get screened as early as you like.
National Cancer Screening Registry
The new Cervical Screening Test will be supported by a new National Cancer Screening registry. This registry will send additional reminder letters and information, and helps to monitor your results.
You can call the NCSR contact centre on 1800 627 701 which will enable you to:
- Provide alternative contact details
- Check the dates of your previous and next tests
- Change the date of your next test
- Choose a healthcare provider to receive your results
- Opt out of the register
National Cervical Screening Program
For more information on the Cervical Screening Test, speak with your GP. or explore the links below:
- National Cervical Screening Program (www)
- Better Health Channel – Cervical Screening Tests (www)
- The Pap test has changed: More Accurate, Less Often (.pdf)
- A Guide to Understanding Your Cervical Screening Test Results (.pdf)
- National cervical screening promises to save more lives than outgoing pap smear – ABC article (www)