Increased screening sees Indigenous cervical cancer deaths halved

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australian aboriginalsAUSTRALIA - The number of Aboriginal women dying of cervical cancer in the Northern Territory has been reduced by half in the past 10 years because of increased screening.

Figures from the Menzies School of Health Research show that in the mid 1990s only 34 per cent of Indigenous women were being screened for cervical cancer.

Researchers say that over the past 10 years a cancer prevention program has increased the proportion of Aboriginal women having pap tests to 44 per cent.

Despite the increased testing, Indigenous women are still more likely to die of cervical cancer than women from other backgrounds.

Researchers say that when the pap test screening program began in 1997, Indigenous women were eight times more likely to die from cervical cancer than non-Indigenous women.

The screening program has reduced that figure by half.

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