About the ACT Cervical Screening Program
Delivered by ACT Health, the ACT Cervical Screening Program (the Program) forms part of the joint Australian Government, State and Territory National Cervical Screening Framework.
The Program aims to increase rates of cervical screening by targeting ACT women aged 20-69 years who have been sexually active at any stage of their lives to have a cervical screening (Pap) test every two years. Screening leads to fewer deaths from this preventable disease.
The Program promotes the importance of regular Pap tests and maintains the ACT Cervical Screening Register to improve health outcomes for women in the ACT.
In late 2017, a new more accurate Cervical Screening Test will replace the current Pap test. The new test is for women aged 25 to 74 years.
Until the changes come into effect, DO NOT delay having your regular Pap test.
The ACT Cervical Screening Program seeks to reduce incidence and deaths from cervical cancer by:
- maximising participation by eligible women in routine 2 yearly screening
- encouraging practitioners to collect cervical smears containing adequate samples of cervical cells
- instituting a uniform and reliable reporting system
- developing appropriate evaluation and management protocols for women with screen-detected abnormalities
- promoting effective treatment and follow-up for women with screen-detected abnormalities.
The ACT Cervical Screening Register, delivered as part of the Program, provides reminders for ACT resident women who do not otherwise attend for rescreening, and provides a back-up service encouraging those with significantly abnormal Pap test results to be followed up.
Alignment with National Cervical Screening Framework
The ACT Cervical Screening Program is part of a National Cervical Screening Program involving the Federal Government and all States and Territory Governments.
The aim of the national program is to reduce the number of cervical cancer cases in Australia, as well as illness and deaths resulting from the disease through an organised approach to cervical screening. Each State and Territory establishes its own program which includes a cervical screening register.
The National Cervical Screening Program has been highly successful and recent data has shown that since its introduction in 1991, the number of cases and deaths in Australia from cervical cancers has halved. Australia now has the second lowest incidence of cervical cancer in the world.
Changes to cervical screening
In late 2017, a new National Cervical Screening Program will commence. This will ensure Australian women will have access to a cervical screening program that is safe, effective, efficient and based on current evidence.
A new National Register will invite women to go for their Cervical Screening Test when they are due, and will also remind women if they are overdue for their test.
Until the changes come into effect, DO NOT delay having your regular Pap test. Call your health practitioner to book a Pap test today if you are due or overdue.
To find out more about the new Cervical Screening Test and new National Register, including brief information about the changes, talk to your doctor or nurse or visit the National Cervical Screening Program website.