Cancer screening program reduces death rates in NT Indigenous women

November 06, 2006

The very high incidence of cervical cancer in Northern Territory Indigenous women has fallen by half since the early 1990s, partly as a result of increased participation in Pap Test screening, according to new research published by the Menzies School of Health Research (MSHR) and the NT Department of Health and Community Services (DHCS).

The work, published by Dr Philippa Binns of the NT Centre for Disease Control and MSHR's Dr John Condon, has shown that the Northern Territory Women's Cancer Prevention Program (NTWCPP) has been effective in increasing the participation of Indigenous women in cervical cancer screening in remote communities and that this has contributed to a fifty percent reduction in mortality rates.

"In the early 1990s Indigenous women in the NT were eight times more likely to die from cervical cancer than Australian women generally" Dr Condon said.

"When the NT Pap Test Register commenced in 1997, only 34% of Indigenous women in remote NT communities were participating in Pap screening, compared to 64% of Australian women generally.

"The research shows that, by 1999-2000, screening participation of Indigenous women in remote areas had improved from 34% to 44%, and has been maintained at almost this level since then.

"Together with improved access for women with abnormal Pap tests to specialist treatment by the Specialist Outreach Service, this has contributed to a fifty percent fall in incidence and mortality in recent years," added Dr Condon.

In 1996 the NTWCPP was introduced to improve participation in cancer screening programs and to reduce incidence and death from cervical cancer in the Northern Territory.

However, the participation rate for Indigenous women is still well below the national level and needs to continue to improve before the excess of cervical cancer in Indigenous women will be completely eliminated. The research found that this is possible, with screening participation in communities in one region 10% higher than the national rate.

"We need to look at why these communities have such high participation rates and how further improvements for Indigenous women can be achieved by learning from these communities, to further close the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women" Dr Condon added.
Contact/Further information

Dr John Condon MSHR Deputy Director 0407 22 7254

Research Australia

Related Cervical Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

HPV strains may impact cervical cancer prognosis
An analysis of cervical cancers in Ugandan women has uncovered significant genomic differences between tumours caused by different strains of human papillomavirus (HPV), signifying HPV type may impact cervical cancer characteristics and prognosis.

American Cancer Society updates guideline for cervical cancer screening
An updated cervical cancer screening guideline from the American Cancer Society reflects the rapidly changing landscape of cervical cancer prevention in the United States, calling for less and more simplified screening.

Disasters can affect cervical cancer screening for years
Screening is important for the early detection of cervical cancer, but rates were significantly affected, in some areas for years, following a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Cervical cancer elimination possible within two decades in the US
At current levels of screening and HPV vaccination, cervical cancer incidence in the US is projected to fall below the threshold of elimination by 2038-2046.

Cervical cancer screening saves lives
Three-year interval in screening for cervical cancer is as effective as annual checkups, study finds.

Cervical cancer could be eliminated within a century
Cervical cancer could be eliminated worldwide as a public health issue within the next century.

25 years of learning to combat cervical cancer
A recent paper from the lab of Professor Sudhir Krishna at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, reviews the progress made in cervical cancer research over the past 25 years.

Cervical cancer screening numbers drop off in women 45-65
Virtually all cervical cancers are caused by HPV, and much of the attention in recent years has focused on preventing infections in younger women through HPV vaccination.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cost-effectiveness analysis of 12 cervical cancer screenings
This cost-effectiveness analysis incorporates women's preferences and estimates quality of life and economic outcomes for 12 cervical cancer screening strategies.

Read More: Cervical Cancer News and Cervical Cancer Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to