Latest statistics

Incidence and mortality rates

  • In 2005, there were 734 cases of cervical cancer

  • In 2006, 224 women died from cervical cancer

  • In 2006-07, 61.5% of eligible women aged 20-69 had a Pap test

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are almost five times
    more likely to die from cervical cancer than non-Indigenous women


  • In 2006, there were 160 new cases of cervical cancer

  • In 2006, there were 37 deaths from cervical cancer

General statistics on Pap tests

  • Regular two-yearly Pap tests can reduce the incidence of cervical cancer
    by up to
    90% in Australia, and save 1,200 Australian women dying from
    the disease each year.

  • In Australia, the number of women diagnosed with cervical cancer has
    dropped on
    average by 3.3% each year since organised screening began
    in 1991 (1991-2005).

  • Almost 90% of Victorian women who develop cervical cancer either never
    had a Pap test or did not have them regularly in the 10 years prior to diagnosis. 

  • Worldwide, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women and is the third highest cause of cancer deaths. At least 80% of cancer deaths occur in developing countries, due to the lack of screening programs.

Screening rates

Screening participation of Victorian women by age on a two-year basis, 2000-2008

Source: Victorian Cervical Cytology Registry, Statistical Report 2008

 Age 2000-01 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004
 20-69   66.6% 64.4% 63.9% 64.4%
2004-05 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008
65.0% 63.4% 63.1% 62.3%

Screening participation of Australian women by age on a two-year basis, 2000-2007

Source: AIHW statistical reports

 Age 2000-2001 2001-2002 2002-2003 2003-2004
20-69 61.0% 61.0% 60.7% 60.7%
2004-2005 2005-2006 2006-2007 2007-2008
61.0% 60.6% 61.5%  

Regional Victoria: Screening rates by Victorian DHS regions (2007-08)

Source: Victorian Cervical Cytology Registry, Statistical Report 2008

 Barwon South Western  62.1%
 Eastern Metropolitan  65.2%
 Gippsland  61.0%
 Grampians  56.3%
 Northern Western Metropolitan  60.0%
 Hume  63.0%
 Loddon  60.8%
 Southern Metropolitan  63.9%

For information on the current screening rates in Victoria, visit the Victorian Cervical Cytology Registry website at

Lucy's story 

I've always been very aware of the importance of regular Pap tests, as my Mum had early-stage cervical cancer in her 30s.

She encouraged me to start having regular Pap tests when I turned 18 and I followed her advice, albeit begrudgingly!

Read more ...

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