Since 2007, the Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation (ACCF) has been dedicated to eliminating cervical cancer by creating awareness of Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and cervical cancer, and its prevention in Australia and developing countries. In Australia, death from cervical cancer has reduced dramatically over recent years due to the introduction of the Cervical Cancer Screening Program. Since the introduction of the program in 1991, incidence and mortality rates of cervical cancer have both halved. However, Australian women are still dying from this almost entirely preventable disease. Every year, over 20,000 women in Australia are diagnosed with high grade abnormalities after having a Pap test. If left untreated, these abnormalities could develop into cervical cancer. Unfortunately, 43% of women in Australia and 57% of young women aged 18-25 are not getting the recommended 2 yearly Pap Test.
ACCF continues to create awareness of cervical cancer and prevention by delivering community awareness programs and school programs. In addition to these awareness programs ACCF are also developing programs to support women and their families in Australia who are affected by cervical cancer. The first initiative of our CerviCAN Support Program involves a partnership between ACCF and Women’s Health Queensland Wide (WHQW) to deliver a free cervical cancer screening information line staffed by registered nurses and midwives. The health information and support services provided through this cervical cancer screening information line will inform and support women between the ages of 18 to 70 that have questions about cervical screening, diagnosis, treatment and support. In this 12 month pilot program, ACCF will promote the program state-wide with a view to expanding the service Australia-wide in 2017.