Reach out to improve screening

There is a new campaign underway to increase participation in cervical screening, especially those women in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.

Women not testing for cancer

HOPING to increase participation in cervical screening among women in culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities, Metro Assist has today launched its ‘Let’s Talk’ campaign, funded by Cancer Institute NSW, at Bankstown Arts Centre.

According to the Department of Health, 80 per cent of women with cervical cancer do not participate in regular cervical screening or have never been screened. 

Low participation rates among migrant women in cervical screening can be attributed to a lack of knowledge of the services, language barriers, cultural beliefs and a fear of the procedure and results.

But cervical cancer can be prevented through regular cervical screening. 

As part of the renewed National Cervical Screening Program, the Cervical Screening Test replaced the Pap Test in December 2017. 

It can safely be done every five years instead of every two and is expected to protect up to 30 per cent more women against cervical cancer.

Incidence and mortality from cervical cancer have halved since the inception of the National Cervical Screening Program.

‘Let’s Talk’ project leader Moushumi Martin said its important to have health discussions and raise awareness of cervical screening in migrant communities.

“We know that our communities rarely discuss cervical screening with their peers,” Ms Martin said.

“We also know that within NSW, there needs to be different ways to reach our diverse communities encouraging them to participate in cervical screening.

“Women need to feel empowered, comfortable and safe enough to talk about these issues among their peers and their community; we are also providing education sessions and written material in their own languages.”

For further info, call 9789 3744.