Australian women pay more for disease test
Australian women still pay extra for a more efficient cervical disease test which costs nothing in the UK, USA and parts of New Zealand.
The National Cervical Screening Renewal Program is reviewing the conventional Pap smear and it could be replaced as standard with the ThinPrep Pap test as soon as next year.
Currently Australian women must request and pay for the ThinPrep Pap test which is clinically proven to be 27 percent more effective at detecting high-grade lesions than the traditional Pap smear.
Hologic Communications Manager Kylie Whetton said that detecting high-grade lesions early was crucial as they could typically be treated before they became invasive cancers.
“The ThinPrep system is a major advance in cervical screening and it has the potential to considerably improve Australia’s cervical screening program,” she said.
“We very much look forward to the day where the ThinPrep Pap test becomes the standard of care for cervical screening in Australia.”
Of the Australian women who do have two-yearly Pap smears around one-fifth currently choose to have the ThinPrep Pap test.
A Cancer Council Australia spokesperson said the objective of the renewal program was to ensure all Australian women had access to the most effective cervical screening program possible.
The focus would be on new technologies such as the ThinPrep Pap test as well as the starting age for cervical screening and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.