Real Housewives star urges over 50s to get tested

Real Housewives of Melbourne star Gina Liano

Real Housewives of Melbourne star Gina Liano fronted a recent campaign to encourage women aged 50 and over to make sure they have a Pap test.

In a series of short videos, Ms Liano gave the tongue-in-cheek message, "Pap tests don't take that long. It takes me longer to get ready every morning!"

Newly released statistics by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that nationally, cervical screening participation rates decrease in women aged 50 and older while the disease's mortality increases with age.

"Cervical cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus - or HPV - which is considered the common cold of sexual activity. Everyone is likely to get the virus at some stage in their life," Manager of PapScreen Victoria Hiranthi Perera says.

"Screening works and women who don't screen are putting themselves at risk of developing cervical cancer."

Ms Liano says women are still dying from cervical cancer despite it being a very preventable disease in Australia.

"Cervical cancer in most cases takes years to develop, so just because you've had negative Pap test results in the past, doesn't mean that you can stop having your tests.

"Book a Pap test today if you're overdue, it could save your life."

Ms Liano's campaign has struck a chord with an 875 percent increase in the number of visitors to the ‘older women' information page on the PapScreen Victoria website in the first half of the year compared to the same time last year.

Further evaluation will be undertaken to see if the campaign has resulted in an increase in women aged 50 and over getting a Pap test.

Women still need to have regular Pap tests:
  • if they are no longer sexually active
  • have been with the one partner for many years
  • after menopause, and
  • some women may need to continue having Pap tests after a hysterectomy.

 

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Updated: 02 Nov, 2016