Cervical screening day breaks down barriers to reproductive health

Bendigo Health staff volunteering to help deliver free cervical screening tests for women in the region. Ten Bendigo Health staff volunteered on Saturday to help deliver 152 free cervical screening tests for women in the region.
More than 150 women got a cervical screening test at Bendigo Health over the weekend.

Bendigo Health's cervical screening day helped break down numerous barriers to women's reproductive health in the region. 

Around 150 women got a free test on Saturday, many of whom had been mentally or physically scarred from previous experiences, according to Bendigo Health's Clinical Director of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Dr Nicola Yuen. 

"A lot of people were either fearful of the test or were unable to access a test for a number of years," she said.

Women who got the test were aged in their 20s to their 70s. 

Ten Bendigo Health staff volunteered on Saturday to help deliver the tests. 

"A big thank you to all the staff who were involved, from clerical to clinical, it was a great day," Dr Yuen said.

Bendigo Health held the event in support of Casey MacIntyre, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 cervical cancer earlier this year.

Casey had a cervical screening test in 2015 but the cancer at that time was too far up her cervix to be detected. 

Dr Yuen said cervical cancer was the most common but preventable cancers in women of reproductive age. 

In late 2017 Australia’s cervical screening program changed, and a different technique adopted, which is better able to detect people who are an increased risk of developing cervical cancer.

The new program means women can be screened five yearly rather than every two years.