Cervical cancer

Cervical cancer affects the cells of the cervix (entrance to the womb from the vagina) [43954]. Anyone with a cervix may develop cervical cancer, including transgender and gender diverse people [49081]. The biggest risk factor for cervical cancer is human papillomavirus (HPV); almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by infection with a cancer-causing type of HPV. The other main risk factor is smoking tobacco [43955].

Cervical cancer is the fifth most common cancer among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females [42101], though one of the most preventable types of cancer [43954]. Currently, cervical cancer can be prevented through HPV vaccination [43596] and screening is carried out via the National Cervical Screening Program, which tests for HPV. The program invites females aged 25 to 74 years to get tested every five years via a health professional or self-collection [43954].  While the National Cervical Screening Program has shown to improve incidence and mortality rates for the disease, evidence suggests that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females are under-screened [48112].

Increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s participation in cervical screenings can be achieved through improved access to cervical screening programs (particularly via Aboriginal Health Services) and prioritising community-led, culturally appropriate screening initiatives [43658][41824].


Key resources



Karnta by Corinne Nampijinpa Ryan

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of people who have passed away.
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.