New program to cut cancer rates

A NEW cervical screening program will replace the vital two-yearly pap tests.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan said the program would come into effect today.

Those aged between 25 and 74 can take part in the program every five years.

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"The new test will directly detect the human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes almost all cervical cancers before abnormal cell changes occur, ensuring that the development of cervical cancer is caught early," Ms McMillan said.

The program is expected to reduce cervical cancer rates by 20 per cent or more.