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?


  • 5 years is now best practice so I’m not going more often than that

    Reply


  • If it’s medically proven that 5 years is okay, then probably it is..

    Reply


  • Once explained by the GP I understand the change of time for a pap smear and the screenings.


    • It takes very little time and checks ups are important,

    Reply


  • Every 5yr is frequent enough for me ! when the can design a test once every 10yr it would be even better ;)

    Reply


  • Ive had abnormal ones so every 2 years sits better with me


    • I have had low grade abnormality ones also so every couple of years is what I prefer too.

    Reply


  • Honestly, I forget so 5 years is easier for me. In saying that, I know I should have it done more often.

    Reply


  • Really depends on family history and if you have had any abnormal results before. I go every 2 years regardless.

    Reply


  • I think it depends on your doctor. Mine still checks for abnormal cells as well as checking for hpv and it doesn’t cost anything. I’ll go in as often as they want me to.

    Reply


  • Given that this cancer is a very fast growing one 5 years makes me nervous. I understand that it’s more accurate but yes it is testing HPV not cancer and my aunt’s cancer was not HPV related so it would not have been picked up with the new tests.

    Reply


  • I have to go back 12 months after my last but if I get the all clear I trust that every 5 years is backed by science so feel comfortable with that.

    Reply


  • But the new pap smear is a lot more accurate, so five years is enough.

    Reply


  • I think every 2 years should be the norm a lot can happen in 5 years ,I’d rather be cautious

    Reply

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