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Reasons for rejection of self‐collected samples for cervical screening

Julia ML Brotherton, David Hawkes and Marion Saville
Med J Aust 2022; 216 (4): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51412
Published online: 7 March 2022

To the Editor: Self‐collected vaginal samples are as effective as clinician‐collected cervical samples for detecting underlying cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or higher (the target lesion of cervical screening) using polymerase chain reaction‐based oncogenic human papillomavirus DNA assays.1 However, the use of self‐collection within Australia’s cervical screening program is currently restricted to women who are underscreened or never screened (at least 2 years overdue, so 4 years since their last Pap test), aged ≥ 30 years and refuse a clinician‐collected sample. This is because, at the time the current policy was developed, self‐collection was believed to result in a small loss of sensitivity. Accredited laboratories are not permitted to test samples that do not meet these requirements.

  • Julia ML Brotherton1,2
  • David Hawkes1,2
  • Marion Saville1,2

  • 1 Australian Centre for the Prevention of Cervical Cancer, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC


Correspondence: jbrother@vcs.org.au

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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