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Impact of the Australian National Cervical Screening Program in women of different ages

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The known Following the 1991 introduction of the Australian National Cervical Screening Program, the incidence of cervical cancer declined, but trends for histological types in different age groups have not been reported. 

The new Squamous cell cancer rates in women aged 25 years or more fell by more than 50%, but have now plateaued among women aged 25–69 years. Screening has had little impact on adenocarcinoma rates in any age group, and there was no decline in cervical cancer rates for 20–24-year-old women. 

The implications Our findings support the planned 2017 transition to HPV-based screening starting at age 25, which may also reduce adenocarcinoma incidence. 

The National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) has been very successful in reducing the overall burden of cervical cancer in Australia by facilitating the detection and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions.1 However, in response to new evidence about the optimal age range for screening, new technologies, and the implementation of a successful national human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination program, a major review of national cervical screening policy (the “renewal”) was recently undertaken.