It’s Cervical Screening Awareness Month. Are you up to date?
31 August 2023
Category: Media releases
September is Cervical Screening Awareness Month and The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners is joining the call and encouraging women to be up to date with their cervical testing.
College Medical Director Dr Luke Bradford says, “Ensuring you are up to date with your screening is so important and allows any irregularities to be caught and treated early.
“The new self-testing option for HPV becomes available later this month and will be a game-changer, especially for those who are hesitant or for those who are unable to easily access screening services in person.”
The National Cervical Screening Unity (NCSU) is changing the way cervical screening is carried out, with the introduction of human papillomavirus (HPV) test as the primary screening test.
The College is also welcoming the launch of free cervical screening services for key groups later this month on 12 September, as part of Te Whatu Ora’s move to the new HPV test.
Those who will be eligible for free screening include those who have never had a screening test, are under screened (haven’t had a test in the past 5 years), at higher risk requiring surveillance or follow-up, Māori and Pasifika, and community service card holders.
The new HPV test means there will be three options available for having a cervical screening test:
- You can choose to collect your own sample, via a simple self-test swab, or
- You can ask your healthcare provider to collect your swab sample, or
- You can choose to have your healthcare provider take a sample from your cervix (known as a smear test)
“Make time this month to get up to date with your screening. Your general practice team and other community providers are available to provide advice, support, and screening services, so make an appointment if you have questions or concerns,” says Dr Bradford.
More information is available here: https://www.nsu.govt.nz/health-professionals/national-cervical-screening-programme/hpv-primary-screening