Cervical Cancer Awareness Week - Women Urged To Prioritise Screening

Written by: The Griffith Phoenix


Women are encouraged to book a cervical screening during Cervical Cancer Awareness Week, particularly if they have allowed their regular screenings to lag.

Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (MPHN) has urged women to book a cervical screening test during Cervical Cancer Awareness Week (November 13 to 19).

Thanks to changes in national programs, preventing cervical cancer has become easier and more accessible with one dose of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for young people, along with cervical screening every five years for women between the ages of 25 and 74, the only requirements.

Acting MPHN CEO, Narelle Mills said despite cervical cancer being one of the most preventable cancer, Murrumbidgee cervical screening rates currently lag behind both state and national averages.

“Staying up to date with cervical screening is crucial for maintaining women’s health,” Ms Mills said.

“Regular screening helps detect any abnormal changes in the cervix early on, often before symptoms appear.

“This early detection allows for timely intervention and treatment, preventing the progression to cervical cancer.”

As cervical cancer is almost always caused by HPV, it is possible to prevent potentially harmful HPV infections through vaccination.

HPV vaccination is available to young people through Australia’s national school-based vaccination program.

The optimal age for vaccination is 12 to 13 years, however, if a young person has missed out on HPV vaccination, a free catch-up vaccine is now available for young people aged 25 years or younger.

“Most cervical cancers occur in people who have never screened or don’t screen regularly,” Ms Mills said.

“It’s essential to understand that cervical screening is still necessary even if you’ve received the HPV vaccine.

“Having regular screening tests is the best way to safeguard yourself.

“If you have any questions, please speak to your GP or healthcare provider.”

Visit www.health.gov.au/our-work/national-cervical-screening-program for more information.

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