Treatments and tests

Cervical Screening Registry

What is the Cervical Screening Register (CSR)?

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

The CSR operates a centralised confidential database (the Register) of Pap smear and other cervical screening test results (including cervical biopsy and HPV DNA test results) for Western Australian women. There are over 4.2 million women’s cervical screening test result records within the Register (December 2012).

Why do we have the CSR?

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

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 participate in regular cervical screening at appropriate intervals by sending ‘reminder’ and ‘follow-up’ letters when cervical screening tests are overdue.

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

How does the CSR help me?

There are 3 main benefits.

Reminders when Pap smears are overdue

Having regular Pap smears is the best way to protect yourself from cervical cancer.

Currently Pap smears are recommended every 2 years. The CSR will send you a ‘reminder’ letter if more than 2 years has passed since your last Pap smear. You may receive an earlier reminder if you have had an abnormal cervical test result.

A 'safety net' for 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 healthcare providers when cervical abnormalities appear to not have been followed up and to ensure continuity of patient care. The CSR also notifies you when timely and appropriate action has not resulted in response to your screen detected abnormality.

Improving accuracy of cervical screening follow-up recommendations

The CSR plays a vital role in providing healthcare 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 I join the CSR?

It's easy – when you have your Pap smear, details are routinely forwarded to the CSR by the laboratory that examines and reports the cervical screening test.

Do my test results have to go to the CSR?

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.

No, it is your choice. Should you not wish for your cervical screening test results to be forwarded to the CSR, you should notify your healthcare provider. However, if your test results are not recorded in the Register, the CSR will be unable to send a 'reminder' letter should you become overdue for your next cervical screening test.

You can withdraw your details at any time by writing to the CSR.

What information is recorded?

The Register records your name, date of birth, address, Medicare number, and the date and results of the Pap smear or other cervical screening test. The laboratory will also supply identifying codes for the laboratory that examined your Pap smear or other cervical screening tests, and the identifying codes and details for the healthcare provider who took the test.

Who can access my information?

Only you, your healthcare provider and the laboratory which reported the cervical screening to have access to your information.

How can I update my details?

We can only send you a Pap smear reminder if we have your correct and current details. If you have changed your name or address since your last Pap smear, please let us know.

Contact details


Postal address:
WA Cervical Cancer Prevention Program
Level 2, Eastpoint Plaza
233 Adelaide Terrace
Perth WA 6000

Phone: 13 15 56

WA Cervical Cancer Prevention Program

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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