New cervical cancer screening program to save lives

Cancer Council Queensland has welcomed Federal Government funding for a new cervical cancer screening program to replace the two-yearly pap smear test from 2017.

The new screening program, announced as part of a $600 million cancer package in last night’s budget, will be undertaken by Queensland women every five years.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the new HPV (human papillomavirus) test would be more effective than a pap smear and just as safe.

“The new test will detect HPV before abnormal cell changes occur, helping to prevent cases of cervical cancer and increase survival rates,” Ms Clift said.

“We hope this change in the screening program will encourage more eligible women to take the test, giving themselves the best possible chance of detecting cancer early.

“We commend the Federal Government for expanding this screening program, helping to save the lives of more Queenslanders.”

The new cervical cancer test will be available for all Australian women aged 25 to 74 from May 2017.

Cancer Council Queensland is urging eligible women to continue participating in the current pap smear screening program until the new test becomes available.

“Regular pap smears currently remain the best protection against cervical cancer,” Ms Clift said.

“It’s crucial that all eligible Queensland women prioritise regular pap smears and get screened every two years until the new program comes into effect.”

Cancer Council Queensland also welcomed the news of a National Cancer Screening Register to help improve screening rates throughout Australia.

“Having one national screening register where Queenslanders can keep up to date with their eligibility and scheduled screenings is vitally important,” Ms Clift said.

“The register will encourage more men and women to participate in recommended breast, cervical and bowel cancer screening programs, and keep track of their screening requirements.”

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at or 13 11 20.

For more information or interviews, please contact:

Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland

Ph: (07) 3634 5372 or 0409 001 171