A Pap test every two years can reduce the risk of cervical cancer by 90%

Etcom - Hiranthi Perera

 Hiranthi Perera

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer for women in the world, yet a Pap test every two years can reduce the risk by 90 per cent.

A Pap test is a simple check that looks for cell changes on the cervix. Cell changes may lead to cervical cancer if not treated.

According to PapScreen Victoria, around eight in 10 Victorian women with cervical cancer have not had regular Pap tests.

Hiranthi Perera from PapScreen Victoria, says some women who migrate to Australia aren’t aware there is a free test (Pap test) available that can help prevent cervical cancer.

“In Australia we are very fortunate to have a national cervical screening program available to all women,” Ms Perera said.

“We appreciate there are lots of women who have moved to Australia from countries where the Pap test is not available. That’s why we want to educate all women about the importance of Pap tests, and encourage them to take advantage of this life-saving program.

“All women aged 18 to 70 who have ever had sexual contact are encouraged to have a Pap test every two years,” she said.

“Pap tests are recommended even for women who are single or widowed, or have only had one partner. Pap tests are also important after menopause,”

“Both the test and the results are confidential. Women are welcome to ask for a female doctor or nurse to perform the test if they’d prefer,” she said.

“A Pap test takes just a few minutes. To make an appointment women can contact their family doctor or nurse, or ask their community health worker for assistance.”

Pap tests are free-of-charge, however there may be a fee for the appointment.

For more information about Pap tests in languages other than English call the Cancer Council’s Multilingual Helpline by phoning 13 14 50 and saying what language you need.

Cancer Council can also help you find a doctor or nurse who speaks languages other than English at a clinic near you.


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