This New Cervical Cancer Research Will Change Pap Smears
There was some pretty big news today when it comes to pap smears and cervical cancer, and we wanted to speak to the one person who knows all about it. Megan Smith is from the cancer council and the project manager for the new research that we're talking about, and we asked her what it means for US about pap smears and how often we should be having them.
We looked at cervical cancer rates in Australia before and after the start of our current cervical screening program, that program began in 1991 and recommended that women start having pap smears every 2 years from the age of 18 to 20.
There's already a recommendation in place that from next year, women don't need to be screened until they turn 25, and that the screening test will change to a more accurate test.
Our research today found that in the 20 years since the current screening program began, there's been no change in the rates of cervical cancer in women aged 20-24, which means that screening hasn't been affective for that age group.
The thing to emphasise is that this is going to be a completely new test which looks for human papilloma virus (HPV), this virus is the cause for almost all cervical cancers, so women who don't have this virus are at extremely low risk of cervical cancer.
Hear our full chat with Megan Smith here: