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Cervical Screening Test

Information for doctors

  • On December 1, 2017, the Cervical Screening Test (CST) replaced the Pap test.
  • The CST is now the only Medicare-funded routine cervical screening test, and will be available to women aged 25 years and over.
  • Specimens need to be collected by clinicians into ThinPrep® vials.
  • Request forms must specify the requested test PLUS the reason for test PLUS supporting clinical notes.

A risk-based approach

The CST uses an HPV DNA test to detect the presence of oncogenic HPV types known to be associated with a higher risk of developing significant cervical abnormalities. The HPV test is more sensitive than cytology, so it can be performed less frequently.

  • Asymptomatic women who test negative for oncogenic HPV are at low risk of developing cervical cancer and only need to be screened every 5 years.

  • Asymptomatic women who test positive for oncogenic HPV will have a liquid-based cytology (LBC) test performed on the same sample (reflex LBC) and will be assessed as either intermediate risk and advised to return for further testing in 12 months, or higher risk and referred for colposcopy.

  • Symptomatic women and those with a history of high-grade cervical pathology will have both an HPV and LBC test (Co-test) performed,regardless of their HPV result.

  • Women with special circumstances identified by the program may be offered more frequent screening or a single screening test prior to age 25.

Available Resources

In order to help you better understand the new Cervical Screening Test (CST), we have created a range of resources that are available to be downloaded using the links below.

Cervical Screening Test - Guide for Clinicians (2017)

Cervical Screening Test - Collection Guide for Doctors (2019)

Transition to the renewed National Cervical Screening Program (2017 - Test of Cure (ToC) (2017)

Pathway for routine cervical screening (2017) - Investigation of women with abnormal vaginal bleeding (2017)

Cervical Screening Test - Self Collect Procedure (2022)

Cervical Screening Test - Information for Patients (2017)

For further information on the new program, please contact Client Services on 62859805

CST Audit

Information about the CST Audit and how to register

CST Billing

Information relating to the recent changes to the billing for CST