The cervical screening test (previously known as pap smear or test), is an examination and screening test provided to all women in Australia. The purpose of the cervical screening test is to check for signs of HPV and if present, to identify any changes in the cervix (neck of the womb) which might indicate an early transition to cancer. HPV is sexually transmitted, and so anyone who has been sexually active may have been exposed to the virus. There are over 100 types of HPV although, only a few are thought to trigger cancer.
Cervical screening tests are done as part of a cervical cancer screening program; they are designed to be screening tests, not a diagnostic test. This means that if an abnormal cervical screening test occurs, further information may be required. It does NOT mean you have cancer. Abnormal cervical screening tests may mean an early repeat test, or colposcopy. All women over the age of 25, should have cervical screening tests every 5 years until 75 years of age.
Most women prefer to have their cervical screening tests with a female health professional. Our specially trained doctors and nurse practitioners will conduct this examination and test to the highest standard of professional care possible. Even for women, who find this examination difficult, we are able to make it easy and manageable, and offer sedation if appropriate for women who might otherwise find it distressing.
For women and men, who have not received the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination, we can provide you with the full vaccination schedule. HPV vaccination helps protect women against cervical cancer, and men from other types of cancer eg rectal and pharyngeal. By vaccination, both sexes are protected against many forms of cancer which can be triggered by HPV. The HPV vaccination is available free to boys and girls in year 9, and we can provide the immunisation at this clinic if you have missed out. For all others, who are not eligible to receive free vaccine, we can still help, but you will have to pay for the vaccine (though health insurers may reimburse you for the cost of the vaccine).