ALMOST 20,000 women in the former Marrickville and Ashfield LGAs are overdue for the potentially, life-saving cervical screening (Pap test).
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According to health authorities, there are 11,430 women in Marrickville overdue for a test, with the most recent participation rate for screening sitting at 60.2 percent, while in Ashfield 6,320 women are overdue, with the participation rate of 47.1 per cent.
Shadow Minister for Women, Sophie Cotsis, said it was very concerning that women across Sydney's west have the lowest rates of screening, especially when compared to higher screen rates of 72 per cent in Mosman; 71.7 per cent in Woollahra; and 69.8 per cent in Waverley.
The state's chief cancer officer, Professor David Currow, and experts from Cancer Council NSW and Family Planning NSW are urging women who are overdue for their Pap test are being urged to have the new more effective, five-yearly Cervical Screening Test.
Expected to reduce cervical cancer deaths by at least 20 per cent, the new test detects the presence of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that may cause cervical cancer.
"The new test will ensure women are one step ahead of cervical cancer," Prof Currow said.
"Booking an appointment for this new test as soon as possible is vital. We know that eight out of 10 women diagnosed with cervical cancer have not had regular screening. Don't let this be you."
Director of research at Cancer Council NSW, Professor Karen Canfell, said the new program was excellent news for all women.
"Recent results from Australia's largest clinical trial, Compass, have shown that the new Cervical Screening Test is substantially more effective than the Pap test," she said.
Dr Deborah Bateson, medical director of Family Planning NSW, added that they have interpreters and youth-friendly clinics where women can feel comfortable having a conversation about the new screening program.