Best and worst cervical screening rates in Victoria revealed with new report

Tuesday 20 January, 2015

New results:

  • Majority of Victorian local government areas have increased cervical screening rates
  • Highest-rated LGA is Mount Alexander in the Loddon Mallee region with 76.3%
  • Lowest-rated LGA is Melbourne in North & West region with 44.4%

Newly released data published in the Victorian Cervical Cytology Registry's Statistical Report 2013 shows that 60.4% of Victorian women aged 20-69 years participated in two-yearly Pap tests in the 2012-2013 period, rising minimally from 60.0% in 2011-2012.

The Victorian participation rate is greater than the national average of 57.7%, according to the latest statistics from 2011-2012.*

PapScreen Victoria manager Hiranthi Perera said that up to 90% of cervical cancer cases could be avoided with regular screening.

"The rates of two-year participation in women aged 20 to 69 years has increased in recent years however substantial variation exists between different areas of Victoria which is of concern," Ms Perera said.

Mount Alexander local government area in the Loddon Mallee region is the highest-rated local government area in Victoria with a 76.3% participation rate for eligible women receiving regular cervical screening in 2012-13. The lowest-rated area is Melbourne with a participation rate of 44.4%. West Wimmera is the most-improved LGA with an increase of 6.8% in participation from 47.7% to 54.5% from 2011-2012 to 2012-2013.

Ms Perera said: "Around one in three Victorian women aren't screening for cervical cancer as recommended.

"A Pap test is the only way to look for abnormal changes to the cells on the cervix, which if left undetected and untreated, could develop into cervical cancer. I encourage all women who are due to make an appointment for a quick and simple Pap test today."

National guidelines recommend that all women aged 18 to 70 who have ever been sexually active undergo a Pap test every two years. Regular Pap tests are recommended even after the HPV vaccine.

In 2013, there were 168 new cases of cervical cancer and 43 deaths from the disease.

Highest cervical screening participation rates by Local Government Area for 2012-2013

LGA

Department of Health region

% screened 2011-2012

% screened 2012-2013

Mount Alexander

Loddon Mallee

75.5

76.3

Queenscliffe

Barwon-South Western

73.6

74.7

Bayside

Southern Metropolitan

73.9

74.0

Nillumbik

North & West Metropolitan

71.5

72.6

Benalla

Hume

70.3

71.0

Indigo

Hume

67.8

70.9

Wangaratta

Hume

70.3

70.3

Macedon Ranges

Loddon Mallee

69.0

69.5

Towong

Hume

67.2

68.8

Alpine

Hume

67.2

68.4

 

Lowest cervical screening participation rates by Local Government Area for 2012-2013

LGA

Department of Health region

% screened 2011-2012

% screened 2012-2013

Melbourne

North & West Metropolitan

45.7

44.4

Wyndham

North & West Metropolitan

49.6

50.1

Northern Grampians

Grampians

51.6

52.0

Melton

North & West Metropolitan

51.7

52.8

Hume

North & West Metropolitan

53.6

53.5

West Wimmera

Grampians

47.7

54.5

Loddon

Loddon Mallee

52.9

54.5

Yarriambiack

Grampians

53.4

54.9

Brimbank

North & West Metropolitan

54.6

54.9

Central Goldfields

Loddon Mallee

53.1

55.2


The Statistical Report 2013 can be downloaded from the Victorian Cervical Cytology Registry website at www.vccr.org

To find a Pap test provider in your local area, visit www.papscreen.org.au and enter your postcode or suburb into the search engine.

*Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2014. Cervical screening in Australia 2011-2012. Cancer series no.82. Cat. no. CAN 79. Canberra: AIHW.

Updated: 20 Jan, 2015