Cervical Screening Research Program

Indigenous researchers Dr Lisa Whop and Dr Tamara Butler from the Menzies School of Health Research spent time yarning with women about cervical screening at Wuchopperen Health Service Limited in mid-June.

Dr Whop said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women were more likely to get diagnosed with cervical cancer, and more likely to die from cervical cancer than their non-Indigenous peers.

‘In Queensland, two thirds of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women do not participate regularly in cervical screening. Cervical screening now detects the virus that causes cervical cancer meaning it can help prevent cervical cancer or detect cervical cancer early,’ Dr Whop said.

‘This multi-jurisdictional study, in partnership with a range of Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, including Wuchopperen, is designed to find out from women what they think and feel about cervical screening. This will give us some insight into how to address the barriers to screening and help us put in a place of range of trials to see the most effective way to boost numbers.

‘Since the study began, we have interviewed over 40 women who have generously shared their stories and insights. This study is privileging Indigenous women’s voices and being run by Indigenous researchers. The important thing about this study is that not only are we finding out how best to help women get the potentially life- saving test, but we are starting what we hope is a national conversation with women, and between women, about screening.’

If you want to find out more about the study please email Tamara on tamara.butler@menzies.edu.au or ring Wuchopperen Research Coordinator Anita Seinen on 4080 1000.