Forgot Password

Sign In


  • Company Information

  • Billing Address

  • Are you primarily interested in advertising *

  • Do you want to recieve the HealthTimes Newsletter?

Lower rate of cervical cancer in Australia so no need for pap test until age 25

Photo: No need for pap test until age 25: study
The rate of cervical cancer in Australia has declined so dramatically that women are now being advised there's not need for a pap test until they are 25.

A dramatic decline in the incidence of cervical cancer in Australia has led to a change in the recommended age for a woman's first cervical pap smear to 25.

Currently women aged 18 to 20 are routinely screened for cervical cancer but from next year women won't receive a prompt for their first test until around their 25th birthday.

The change in age was recommended by the Medical Services Advisory Committee last year and researcher Megan Smith from Cancer Council NSW says she can confidently say it's safe.
A study by Cancer Council NSW, published in the Medical Journal of Australia found the rate of cervical cancer in Australia has declined dramatically, by around 50 per cent, since the National Cervical Screening Program was introduced in 1991.

However, it found the NCSP had no significant impact on the incidence of cervical cancer in women aged 20 to 24, which is extremely low.

Most cases of cervical cancer are caused by an infection called human papillomavirus and with the introduction of the HPV vaccination program at high schools 10 years ago the risk of young women developing the disease will become even lower.

"The best prevention for cervical cancer in women under 25 is the HPV vaccination, and most women under 25 have been vaccinated," Ms Smith said.

In fact, so many young women have been vaccinated against HPV that it is harder for the virus to spread and HPV infection rates have even dropped in young women who aren't vaccinated, added Ms Smith.

Also under the renewed NCSP, which will come into effect in May 2017, a HPV test will replace the current pap smear examination.

The method is still the same, where a smear of cells from the lining of cervix is collected, but only needs to be conducted every five years compared to the pap smear which is currently carried out every two years.

Women of any age who do develop symptoms such as bleeding or pain should see their doctor to be checked out regardless of their age.


Thanks, you've subscribed!

Share this free subscription offer with your friends

Email to a Friend

  • Remaining Characters: 500