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Health professionals

Did you know, most people who develop cervical cancer either don’t screen regularly or have never been screened?

If you are a woman or a person with a cervix, between the ages of 25-74 years, a Cervical Screening Test (CST) every five years is your best protection against cervical cancer.

As the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) makes self-collection more available, we have launched the At Your Cervix: self-collection campaign. This campaign aims to raise awareness and improve cervical screening rates among eligible West Australians.

About self-collection

As of 1 July 2022, there is now two options for how you have a Cervical Screening Test. You can choose to screen by collecting your own sample (also called self-collection); or have a healthcare provider collect your sample.

Self-collection allows you to take your own vaginal sample for Human papillomavirus infection (HPV) testing, and can be accessed through a healthcare provider.

Melissa Treby, our Education and Screening Manager, says access to self-collection could remove some of the cultural and personal barriers that may have discouraged some people from doing their five-yearly Cervical Screening Test in the past.

“Currently around 64 per cent of West Australians eligible to participate are up to date with their screening, but some priority populations have higher numbers of people who have either never screened or who do not screen regularly,” Ms Treby said.

“The option of self-collection aims to increase participation by addressing some of the barriers to screening that some people may experience, thereby contributing to an equitable acceleration in Australia’s progress towards the elimination of cervical cancer.”

Ms Treby said Cervical Screening Tests can prevent the development of cervical cancer by detecting HPV early, before it has the chance to cause cell changes which may lead to cervical cancer.

About our At Your Cervix: self-collection campaign

Funded by the WA Cervical Cancer Prevention Program, the At Your Cervix: self-collection campaign focuses on promoting the uptake of cervical screening, by increasing awareness, understanding and confidence in self-collection for cervical screening.

By highlighting the two options for cervical screening now available, women and people with a cervix are reminded to prioritise their health by booking their Cervical Screening Test.

Both options are accurate, safe, and effective ways to participate in cervical screening. We encourage women and people with a cervix aged 25-74 to talk to their healthcare provider about which option is best for them.

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