Add anal pap smears for HPV to the Medicare Benefits Schedule
This petition had 137 supporters
The Australian Government should be congratulated for encouraging women to have regular cervical pap smears to help diagnose and prevent the terrible outcomes of cervical cancer — which is caused by the Human Papillomavirus.
But if you're a man or a woman, having a similar smear to check for abnormal cells in the anus (and prevent anal cancer) is not covered by the Medicare Benefits Schedule.
It's time that this changed — both are caused by HPV, and the pathology of both should be covered by Medicare.
Alarmingly, the rate of cancer among gay men is even higher than the rates of cervical cancer among women.
HPV has also now been linked in recent University of NSW research to prostate cancer, with a finding that 70% of malignant tumours studied was positive for HPV.
In addition, the Federal Government should specifically target a message to men who have sex with men — who are at a 25x greater chance of developing anal cancer — to get regular anal smear screening tests.
And the Federal Government to fund a catch-up program for males to get the Gardasil vaccination, in a similar manner to the catch-up offered to women when the vaccine was first rolled out to females. This will provide young men with a similar beneficial preventative health outcome.
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