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The National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) offers a free Cervical Screening Test (CST) which looks for high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) in a collected sample. HPV is the cause of almost all cases of cervical cancer. Women and people with a cervix aged 25-74 will be invited by mail every five years to take part in screening. Even those who have had the HPV vaccine will still need regular cervical screening.

There are two ways to have a CST, both accessed through a healthcare provider.  You can choose to have your CST done by a doctor or trained nurse (clinician collection), or you can choose to collect your own sample (self-collection). Both methods are equally safe, effective and accurate.

If HPV is found in a clinician collected sample, the same sample can be used to look for abnormal changes to cells taken from the cervix.

If HPV is found in a self-collected sample you will need to have a follow up sample collected by a healthcare provider, to check for abnormal cervical cell changes.

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