Cervical Screening Registry

What is the Cervical Screening Registry?

The CSR is a component of the WA Cervical Cancer Prevention Program (WACCP), which is a State and Commonwealth Government funded program that is responsible for operating the CSR.

The Register is a centralised confidential database of Pap smear and other cervical screening test results (including cervical biopsy and human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA test results) for Western Australian women.

As of December 2012, there were over 4.2 million cervical screening test result records within the WA CSR.

Cervical cytology registers operate in all states and territories in Australia to deliver an organised approach to cervical screening.

Why do we have the CSR?

The CSR was established in response to evidence that an organised approach to cervical screening is the most effective and efficient way to reduce the number of cervical cancer cases and deaths.

The CSR encourages women to have regular cervical screening at appropriate intervals by sending reminder and follow-up letters when cervical screening tests are overdue. For further information read the WA Protocol of Actions for follow-up and reminder letter (PDF 228KB).

Women that are on the CSR and become overdue for their next cervical screening test will receive a reminder letter from the CSR encouraging them to see their health care provider.

The CSR provides data for planning, monitoring and evaluation of the cervical screening program, which helps to improve our understanding of cervical cancer, its treatment and health outcomes for women.

How does the CSR help women?

There are 3 main benefits:

1.    Reminders when Pap smears are overdue

Currently it is recommended that women have Pap smears every 2 years. The CSR will send women a reminder letter if more than 2 years has passed since their last Pap smear.

Women may receive an earlier reminder if they have previously had an abnormal cervical test result.

Having regular Pap smears are the best way for women to protect themselves from getting cervical cancer.

2.    A safety net for women with abnormal cervical test results

Most Pap smears are normal but in a small number of cases abnormalities are detected.

The CSR provides a safety net by notifying health care providers when a patient’s cervical abnormalities appear not to have been followed up. This ensures a continuity of patient care.

The CSR also notifies women when timely and appropriate action has not resulted in response to their screen detected abnormality.

3.    Improving accuracy of cervical screening follow-up recommendations

The CSR plays a vital role in providing health care providers a complete cervical screening history to assist in the management of women with screen detected abnormalities.

Pap smears are reported by medical scientists and pathologists. The recommendations for follow-up made by the laboratory have greater accuracy if they are reported in light of previous test results.

The CSR helps the laboratory to report current test results and follow-up recommendations by providing women's cervical screening profiles on request.

How do women join the CSR?

It is easy. When women have their Pap smear, their details will be routinely forwarded to the CSR by the laboratory that examines and reports on the cervical screening test.

Do women's test results have to go to the CSR?

No – it is not compulsory for cervical screening test results to be forwarded to the CSR. It is the woman’s choice.

If a woman does not wish for her cervical screening tests to be forwarded to the CSR, she should notify her health care provider.

Women can withdraw their details from the register at any time by writing to the CSR via:

However, if the woman’s test results are not recorded within the CSR, she will not be able to receive a reminder letter should she become overdue for her next cervical screening test.

The more cervical screening test results the CSR has, the better our understanding will be and the closer we will come to preventing cervical cancer for WA women.

What information is recorded on the CSR?

The information recorded by the CSR includes the woman’s:

  • name and address
  • date of birth
  • Medicare number.

The dates and results of each Pap smear or other cervical screening test will also be recorded.

The laboratory will also provide the CSR with:

  • identifying codes for the laboratory that examined the woman’s Pap smear or other cervical screening tests
  • identifying codes and details for the health provider who performed the test.

Who can access CSR information?

The Health (Cervical Cytology Register) Regulations 1991 WA (external site) sets out how the CSR operates.

Under the Regulations, the following people can access the CSR information:

  • the woman
  • her health care provider
  • the laboratory that reported the cervical screening.

How can women update their details?

The CSR relies on current details to send reminders to women. Please email the Cervical Screening Register if you have recently changed your name or address details.

More information

WA Cervical Cancer Prevention Program (WACCPP)
Opening hours: 8.00am – 4.30pm, Monday to Friday
Phone: 9323 6788 or 13 15 56 (cost of a local call)
Email: cervicalscreening@health.wa.gov.au
Fax: 9323 6711

Level 2, Eastpoint Plaza
233 Adelaide Terrace
Perth 6000

Produced by

WA Cervical Cancer Prevention Program