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 was surprised when my gynaecologist told me it was 5 years now. It sat uneasy with me. One of my best friends was diagnosed with cervical cancer before the age of 25 so that hit a little close to home. I think I might be going more often, even if I have to pay for it

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  • Not a thing I have to worry about for myself now but do think 5 yrs is a stretch to far apart.

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  • I think it’s to long to wait personally

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  • It says most women under 25 have been vaccinated and that is the reason for the change from 2 to 5 years – what about women over 25 who haven’t been vaccinated? we still could get HPV

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  • Curious to know if maybe your doctors aren’t explaining the new test to you if you are worried about 5 years?

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  • I’m opting to continue 2 year checks. 5 years is a long time and things can crop up without symptoms

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  • I’d go by what my GP recommends. About time i guess!

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  • I must admit to feeling a bit dubious about the 5 year period between exams.

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  • I think 5 years is way too long; it’s not worth the risk. I fully understand how embarassing it can be, butt don’t wait.
    But I’m pretty sure my dr was saying they have changed it from 2 years to 5 years anyway; which I think shouldn’t be the case.

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  • I should have one done more often, so I am definitely a put it off kind of person but your article was a great read and thought provoking

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  • I will keep getting it done every 2 years. I would rather be safe then sorry. My doctors clinic have said they are still happy to send reminders out to people every 2 years if they wish

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  • 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.

    Reply

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