In 2021, just under 55 percent of women between the ages of 30 and 60 participated in cervical cancer screening, which aids in the early detection (initial stage) of the disease. That’s too low, says Paulusma. Early detection helps in better treatment.
Message to Parliament
Therefore, 30-year-old women who receive an invitation to participate in population screening for the first time in 2023 will receive a home test as a standard. If, after the self-sample test, it turns out that there are malignant cells, women should still go to the doctor.
A letter to Parliament will be issued in mid-December containing additional information on the matter. The goal is to conduct self-examinations from 2023, but that has not yet been definitively decided.
Former cancer patient Kim Pot can talk about it. She received an invitation to examine the population when she was 30 years old. In the video below she talks about her experience.
Fear of research and results
A possible reason for the low participation in population screening is that young women are not concerned about the possibility of contracting the disease. Polosma suspects that women may also find the smear in the doctor’s office painful. The research conducted by RIVM also shows that there is also fear for the research itself and the results.
KWF Kankerbestrijding says in reaction that it is happy with the decision. “We see from previous tests that self-exams ensure that more women participate. Now 55 percent are participating and that’s very low. For breast cancer, for example, it’s 80 percent. And the earlier you are there, the better the chance of a better outlook and treatment. Self-testing lowers Pap smear threshold.
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