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National Cervical Screening Program – expansion of self-collection eligibility

June 21, 2022

From 1 July 2022, the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) will expand screening test options, offering self-collection as a choice to all people participating in cervical screening. These changes mean that healthcare providers may start to see an increase in the volume of requests from patients to use self-collection as an option for their Cervical Screening Test.

Under the updated guidelines, all NCSP participants aged 25-74 years old will have the choice to screen using either a self-collected vaginal sample or a clinician collected sample from the cervix, accessed through a healthcare provider in both cases.

The expansion in screening has been introduced in response to the best available evidence to prevent, diagnose and manage cervical cancer, providing recommendations for healthcare providers with patients in specific situations, such as people displaying symptoms and in some follow-up settings where a co-test (HPV test and a cytology test at the same time) is required.

To support these changes, the NCSP: Guidelines for the management of screen-detected abnormalities, screening in specific populations and investigation of abnormal vaginal bleeding (guidelines) have been reviewed and updated to support the self-collection eligibility expansion.