Concerningly low cervical screening numbers putting Ballarat at risk.

March 6, 2023 10:25 am in by

There’s a major push to get people cervical screening in the Ballarat region following the release of concerning statistics.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data reveals just 55% of eligible Ballarat residents participate in cervical screening.

In the Pyraness Shire that number is as low as 50%, while areas of Melbourne have participation numbers as high as between 60-70%.

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As a result those with a uterus living in regional Victoria are 28% more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer than those in the city as cervical screening, which is now required every five years as opposed to the previous two yearly screens, has been found to be the best way to avoid a cancer diagnosis.

With access to testing a hindrance in the regions the Cancer Council’s Kate Braun says the advancement of “self-collection” has removed those barriers.

“It allows people to collect the sample in a private space at the doctors or other healthcare setting using a swab. It’s really quick, it’s easy, and really importantly it’s just as reliable as a sample taken by a doctor or a nurse usng a speculum.”

Anyone who is due for a screen, or is unsure, is urged to speak to a doctor.