Changes to the invitation schedule
On 1 January 2022, the second screening round of primary HPV screening as part of the cervical cancer screening programme started. From this moment on, persons whose HPV results are known from the previous round may be invited for another screening. This is a new development. It means that the previous HPV results are now taken into account in the invitation policy and that they may or may not receive an invitation, depending on their age.
According to the (modified) invitation schedule, all clients aged 30, 35, 40, 50 and 60 are invited. Clients aged 45 and 55 are only invited if they did not participate five years earlier or if they were HPV-positive in their previous screening round. Clients aged 65 are only invited if they were HPV-positive five years earlier and were not referred to a gynaecologist at that time.
Why this change to the invitation schedule?
The change to the invitation schedule is related to the introduction of primary HPV screening in 2017. HPV screening detects severe abnormalities earlier and the risk of cervical cancer is reduced for longer after a negative HPV test. As a result, screening needs to be performed less often and five rounds of screening during a lifetime are sufficient. The Health Council of the Netherlands has recommended a 10-year interval for HPV-negative participants aged 40 and 50. The 10-year interval means that one quarter fewer invitations will be sent each year.