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Date posted: 1 May 2012
A recently released Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report shows that more than 3.6 million women participated in cervical screening in 2009-2010.
Figures from the Cervical screening in Australia 2009-2010 report reveal that over half of all Australian women who should be screened for cervical cancer are being tested. While 57% of women aged 20 to 69 years had Pap smears, participation rates in the National cervical cancer screening program fell in 2009-10, compared with 59% in the previous reporting years. This is the first significant fall after steady rates since 2004.
Participation rates were highest in women in their late 40s, followed by women in their early 40s and 50s, with the lack of screening particularly evident for young women and those on low incomes.
AIHW spokeswoman Chris Sturrock said the likelihood of women being screened increased with their socioeconomic status. She said it was a concern that rates of cervical cancer were twice as high in Aboriginal women, and their risk of dying from the disease was five times higher.
‘The good news is that incidence and mortality rates have both halved since the NCSP was introduced in 1991, and both are at an historic low,' Ms Sturrock said. ‘One area of concern is the incidence of cervical cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, which is twice that of non-Indigenous women, with the mortality rate 5 times as high.'
Source: The West Australian
Communications, Media and Marketing Unit
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
GPO Box 570
Canberra ACT 2601
Ph: (02) 6244 1032