Science Slaps: Self-Swab Cervical Screening Tests Have Come to Australia

The wheel, Sea-Monkey kits, and the air fryer. These are just some of the most incredible inventions that have been made throughout history. However, there’s a new masterpiece in town. Self-collection cervical screening tests are now in Australia, and they should join these other items in the trophy room full of top-notch inventions.

According to Cancer Council Victoria, self-collection cervical screening tests work by taking a cotton swab, inserting it gently into one’s vagina, rotating the swab to get cells, putting this swab in a tube, and then giving it to a doctor or nurse. From this test, your health care professionals will use it to detect if you have HPV.

This test shouldn’t be painful. Moreover, it’s incredibly effective. As per Cancer Council Victoria: “Self-collection is just as safe, effective and accurate at detecting HPV as a Cervical Screening Test taken by your doctor or specially-trained nurse with a speculum.”

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Hopefully, such an invention will prompt more folks to get tested for HPV. The Australian Department of Health has stated that this virus has a chance of giving someone cancer. Moreover, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has reported that not nearly enough people are getting tested for it. Between 2018 and 2020, only 3.8 million people between the ages of 25 and 74 had cervical screening tests, which is an estimated 56% participation rate. It wouldn’t be surprising if this number dropped lower during the heights of the COVID lockdowns

As of July 1, anyone who has a cervix, is between the ages of 25 and 74 years old, and is eligible for a cervical screening test can use one of these swabs. If you’ve been procrastinating getting a cervical screening test, you never got one thanks to COVID, or whatnot, maybe you should chat to your doctor about using the self-collection version. Doing so might literally save your life.

Want to learn a whack of other important info? Then here’s some more mint articles on The Latch:

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