News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Canterbury women taking advantage of cervical screening

June 25, 2013

Canterbury women taking advantage of life-saving cervical screening

Almost 100,000 women in the Canterbury District Health Board area have had cervical screening in the three years to December 2012.

Dr Kim Burgess from Pegasus Health says while this is encouraging, about 25 per cent of women in Canterbury aged 20 to 70 are still not having regular cervical smear tests.

“Investing a small amount of time in having regular cervical smears can reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer by 90 percent,” Dr Burgess says.

“Regular cervical smear tests are recommended from the age of 20 to 70 for women who have ever been sexually active and are available from your General Practice team.”

Canterbury women can also access cervical smear tests at the following healthcare providers:

• He Waka Tapu (03 373 8150)
• Pacific Trust Canterbury (03 377 8159)
• the Family Planning Association (03 379 0514)
• the National Cervical Screening Programme (0800 729 729)

The human papillomavirus (HPV), which is a very common infection, causes cell changes to the cervix that can lead to cervical cancer. Changes in the cervix as a result of HPV happen very slowly and may clear on their own. However, sometimes these changes can become cancer.

Dr Burgess says having regular three-yearly smears means it is likely abnormal cells will be found and treated long before they progress to cancer.

She says some women may now be offered an HPV test when they have their cervical smear. The test helps identify women who may need further follow up with a specialist.

The HPV test is usually taken at the same time as the cervical smear test, using the same sample of cells, so there is no need to have a second test.

Dr Burgess says it’s important for women who have had the HPV vaccine to remember to have regular cervical smears.

“The HPV vaccine does not protect against all the types of HPV that cause cervical cancer, so women who have been immunised must still have three-yearly smears,” she says.

“I hope Canterbury women book in for a smear if it’s due or overdue. It takes only a small amount of time, but it could save your life.”

Dr Burgess says if cost is a barrier to getting a smear there are low cost or free smear options available for some groups. To find out if you’re eligible contact your healthcare provider.

Women who are not sure when their smear is due, or who want to become part of the National Cervical Screening Programme can ring the freephone number 0800 729 729 or go to www.cervicalscreening.govt.nz.

Click here to read the story of a patient with cervical cancer.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Scoop Review Of Books: Rushing For Gold

The first section focuses particularly on the Victorian connections – commercial, legal, mining and personal, including migration statistics. But for me the most interesting chapters were in the middle sections about the people of the goldfields. More>>

Comedy Festival Review: VOTE BATT

The political campaigning in the US over the last eight months or so has provided a stark insight into how far political candidates are willing to go. This background came into focus as “former comedian” – now politician – Tim Batt ushered people up into the front seats, passing out badges and taking photographs with his not entirely adoring public... More>>

HRH QEII's 90th: New Zealand Post Birthday Stamps Fit For A Queen

New Zealand Post is celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday with a special series of stamps and a limited edition silver coin. The Queen was born on 21 April 1926. To mark her birthday, New Zealand Post has produced ‘lenticular’ or moving stamps that feature nine different images of the Queen on just three stamps. More>>

ALSO:

Anzac Day: A Time To Stand Against Hatred

The Human Rights Commission says ANZAC Day is a time for New Zealanders to remember those things our grandparents stood for and stand up against intolerance and prejudice. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news