It’s not something we talk about often enough so we decided it was time to have the chat!

A recent discussion in the MoM office had one of our team admit that she was one of those super cautious people that go for the dreaded pap smear every year or two.

She admitted that she is very uneasy at the thought of only having the new Cervical Screening Test every FIVE years.

“This makes me REALLY nervous, a lot can happen over such a long time. I know there is science & research behind this but this is real-life and I personally will still be going every year or two years even if I have to pay for the test.”

It seems she is not alone with many of our members admitting they too go more frequently than required. Some even going annually.

Tammy admitted, “I go every year and want to keep it that way. I think every 5 years is too long, I would want something detected right away, you just never know.”

Cathy shared, “This makes me incredibly nervous not only because it is every 5 years but also because they are not actually testing for cervical cell changes but for presence of HPV now. You have to actually request a cervical cell test (and pay for it – no longer medicare rebatable) now. Given that I had stage 1 cervical cancer at 26 (and was bloody lucky to keep my uterus and be able to have children) WITH NO EVIDENCE of HPV this makes me very very nervous. There are still cervical cancers that are hormonal. I understand that the majority are not but there are. So I will be getting my daughters to put it into their calendar every two years. And while the recommendation is every 5yrs you can still have it done every 2yrs if that sits better with you.”

“I go every 2 years. I’m the sort that prefers to be over cautious.”

“I’m 27 my sister is 31 and she had one come back funny I told the dr who did mine that I’m coming back every 2 years don’t care what anyone says I’d rather get it done then wait and there be something wrong.”

“5 minutes of discomfort every couple of years in exchange for early cancer detection is pretty worth it to me. But I think unless you’ve had some abnormal results, every 2 years is far enough apart!”

“I’d rather pay to be safe.”

“Every two years, but now Im older, my doctor has informed me, I only need one more.”

“I go once a year for a pap & mammogram. Been that way since I had my first kid 6years ago. I went for my mammogram last week found abnormailites & have been having testing done & go monday for my pap.”

About Cervical screening

In December 2017, the Cervical Screening Test replaced the Pap test in Australia.

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. Routine cervical screening is your best protection against cervical cancer. The Cervical Screening Test is expected to protect up to 30% more women.

The Cervical Screening Test is more effective than the Pap test at preventing cervical cancers, because it detects the human papillomavirus (known as HPV), whereas the Pap test looked for cell changes in the cervix. HPV is a common infection that can cause cervical cell changes that may lead to cervical cancer.

The Cervical Screening Test is more effective than the Pap test at preventing cervical cancers.

Women aged 25 to 74 years of age should have a Cervical Screening Test two years after their last Pap test. Subsequently, you will only need to have the test every five years if your results are normal.

The reason the age has change from 18 to 25 for your first screening is that most women under the age of 25 will have been vaccinated for HPV. In addition, cervical cancer in women under 25 is rare.

What do you think? Do you think is this mum overreacting?


  • I went to do it and was told I could wait I’m not sure I think I will go asap

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  • I only got my reminder in the mail yesterday, and it’s only been 2 years? I will book in soon to get it done

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  • I can understand being concerned if you have a history of problems and perhaps these people should get both tests.

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  • It’s so important. Great article of awareness.

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  • I would much rather have BOTH tests, and far more often than every 5 years.

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  • I’m one of those “Put it off” type of people. I really should be checking every 2 years. This was a great read and gives some useful information. I’ll be heading to the doctor in the next month to have mine done.

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  • I’m so glad she addressed this subject. I’m the same rather do it every year if I have too. Five years is way too nerve wracking. I don’t mind it -5minutes of awkwardness can save your life

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  • I have been making excuses even though the doctor reminded me I should make my appointment soon this article was a good read

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  • I had it done every 2 years and I will keep doing this no matter what anyone says, better be safe than sorry

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  • If the method of getting the samples is the same the only difference is the method they use to process it

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  • I was told I only need to go every 5 years now and that’s what I’ll be doing. I’m usually in a lot of pain and discomfort for a few days after having it done so won’t miss that.

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  • I’ll stick with every 5 years

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  • I have been immunised against HPV. I had a pap smear this year and was advised I don’t need another for 5 years. I was concerned and raised this with my Doctor. He said you either have the virus or you don’t and the test showed I don’t. Therefore, 5 years is fine. I also received notification from the test service that they will remind me in 5 years.

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  • I am sure it is just another government idea to cut costs (probably a male dominated decision) making women pay for the costs. Lets face it, cancer drugs cost a lot more and the government stand to make money out of the high prices drugs.
    I have copied a couple of paragraphs from above. The first is about the tests. The second is from an actual person which contradicts the Medical advice about the tests. I for one look after No 1 which is me. I will continue to have the tests because of the above.

    The Cervical Screening Test is more effective than the Pap test at preventing cervical cancers, because it detects the human papillomavirus (known as HPV), whereas the Pap test looked for cell changes in the cervix. HPV is a common infection that can cause cervical cell changes that may lead to cervical cancer.

    Given that I had stage 1 cervical cancer at 26 (and was bloody lucky to keep my uterus and be able to have children) WITH NO EVIDENCE of HPV this makes me very very nervous. There are still cervical cancers that are hormonal.

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  • 5 years is fine – I’m sure it would be recommended with more frequency if it was needed.

    Reply

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