Cervical Screening Test (CST)
Information for doctors
On December 1, 2017, the Cervical Screening Test 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.
In order to help you with the changes implemented on December 1, 2017, we have created a range of resources which are available for download using the links below.
- Clinician guide
- Collection guide
- Lubricants guide
- Generate CST patient lists using Sonic Dx
- Flowcharts for 'Pathway for routine cervical screening' & 'Investigation of women with abnormal vaginal bleeding'
- Flowcharts for 'Transition to the renewed National Cervical Screening Program' & 'Test of Cure (ToC)'
- Resource order form
- Securely Email CST Screening Summaries to patients
Additional external resources
- ThinPrep Pap Test - Specimen collection video
- ThinPrep Pap Test - Information for Healthcare Professionals
- Cancer Council Australia Cancer Guidelines Wiki: National Cervical Screening Program
Guidelines for the management of screen-detected abnormalities, screening in specific populations and investigation of abnormal vaginal bleeding.