A majority of House members support the D66 proposal to make cervical cancer self-sampling tests available. Prefix Wieke Paulusma hopes this will allow more women to check if they are at risk of cervical cancer.
The cervical cancer screening program can be used to detect (initial stage) cervical cancer.
But the number of study participants has been declining since 2018. Last year, 55 percent of women between the ages of 30 and 60 participated in this survey. That percentage is very low, Polosma says. Early detection of cervical cancer makes it possible to better treat the disease.
Participation may be limited because young women are less concerned about the possibility of contracting the disease. Polosma suspects that women may also find the smear in the doctor’s office painful.
The MP hopes to lower the bottom line with a self-sampling test (“home test”). This test can detect human papillomavirus (HPV, which causes cervical cancer) and any abnormal cells. 3 million euros are required annually for home tests.
D66 want to send home test home as standard
D66 wants all women who receive an invitation to participate in population screening for the first time in 2023, to have a home test sent as a standard. This is now done upon request only.
“We can and should be way ahead of cervical cancer than we are now,” Paulusma says. “This not only saves a lot of illness, but also a lot of grief.”
The Board of Health previously gave positive advice on Paulusma’s proposal when discussing the budget for the Department of Health, Welfare and Sports (VWS).
Each year around 950 women in the Netherlands develop cervical cancer. Most of them are between 30 and 55 years old. Women diagnosed with early cervical cancer have a 96 percent survival rate.
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