Improving cervical cancer screening rates

Despite Australia being a global leader in cervical cancer prevention, offering routine Cervical Screening Tests to women aged 25-74 years and vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) to adolescents, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experience a higher burden of cervical cancer compared with other Australian women. This in part is due to the lower participation in cervical screening.

Dr Lisa Whop and her team hit the road to yarn with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women about cervical cancer. They talked with 80 women – 50 who had participated in screening in the past five years and 30 who had not – and 12 health professionals.

The interviews highlighted the fundamental need for trust and control over decision-making by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to partake in cervical screening. In recognising this, the team were able to map the process of cervical screening and explore ways to increase screening uptake by this demographic

Learn more about our cancer research here

Photo credit: Jen Dainer