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Cervical cancer screening update

April 6, 2017

Changes to national cervical cancer screening program

Why changes to cervical cancer screening involve HPV testing

Cervical cancer screening update

Changes to the national cervical cancer screening program have been delayed until December 2017. Attending a HPV screening will be like having a PAP smear – it is what happens with the sample afterwards that is different. Evidence to date suggests this will be a more efficient method of screening for the most common cause of cervical cancer.

The proposed changes have highlighted gaps in the public’s understanding of how HPV is linked to cervical cancer. There is confusion around why the changes are occurring and exactly what will happen in the revised program.

Williams and Wortley’s article in The Conversation explains the delays and discusses the issues rolling out any change to public health policy.

Life matters produced a fantastic interview dispelling myths and answering concerned listener’s questions.

BMJ’s Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care investigated various factors that shape and impede women’s understanding of HPV and screening.

If you are seeking clarification on the changes, the following are links to some excellent  resources:

The conversation

https://theconversation.com/delays-and-confusion-cloud-roll-out-of-new-cervical-cancer-screening-program-73605

The Australian Government Department of Health Update

http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/National-Cancer-Screening-Register

Excellent podcast from the great Life Matters

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lifematters/pap-smear-tests/8388756

Investigation of barriers confronting women accessing and absorbing information on HPV screening from BMJ’s Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care

http://jfprhc.bmj.com/content/41/2/134

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