The Cancer Council of Australia has recommended significant changes to the NCSP. As a result from 1st December, 2017 testing samples for oncogenic Human Papillomavirus types (HPV types) will replace the conventional cytology (PAP TEST) as the first (primary) screening process.
The sample will be collected in the same way as currently done but will be placed in a liquid media(Thin Prep Vial) rather than being smeared on a slide. The laboratory will perform tests for oncogenic HPV types on the sample. If the HPV test is positive for any of the oncogenic HPV types, Liquid Based Cytology (LBC) will be performed on the sample (reflex cytology). In some specific clinical situations co-testing (both HPV test and LBC) will be performed.
The NCSP will be available to women between the ages of 25 and 74. Women, including those who have had HPV vaccine, will be invited by the National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR) to participate in the new program.
From the 1st of December 2017, Medicare rebate is available for HPV Cervical Screening Test and there is no rebate available for Pap Smear
Cervical Screening Test Collection Instructions
• For Doctors/Practitioners – Instructions for Direct to Vial ThinPrep® Specimen Collection
• Test ordering guidelines – What to order on the request form