26 September 2023

New launch a hit on cervical screening

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Wellbeing SA has launched a new ‘campaign to encourage women aged between 25 and 74 to consider ‘self-collection’ for their five-yearly cervical screening.

Called ‘You Can Do It’, the campaign is to inform women due for cervical screening that they can now choose to perform the test themselves with self-collection tests available through their GP or healthcare provider.

Executive Director of Prevention and Population Health in SA Health, Professor Katina D’Onise has encouraged anyone due for a test to contact their GP or healthcare provider and make a booking.

“A self-collection test is easy and painless and is just as safe and accurate at detecting HPV as a clinician-collected sample”, Professor D’Onise said.

“We know it’s important to keep up with regular screening as detecting HPV infection early allows your healthcare provider to monitor the infection and intervene with appropriate treatment, if required, which could save your life,” she said.

According to SA Health a cervical screening test (previously called a pap smear) is a simple test to detect the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a common infection that can develop into cervical cancer.

It said around 800 Australians were diagnosed with cervical cancer every year and about 70 per cent of them occur in women who were not up to date with their screening or who had never screened before.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Chris Picton, said that having a cervical screening test every five years is the best way to protect oneself as screening can help prevent more than 70 per cent of cervical cancer.

“Self-collection is a game-changer for many women who, for a variety of reasons, may be putting it off or never had a cervical screening test before,” Mr Picton said.

In launching the campaign, Wellbeing SA has partnered with Cancer Council SA to fund training for GPs to ensure women across the State choose the best option for them when it comes to cervical screening.

More information on cervical screening can be accessed at this PS News link.

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