Norwegian health authorities recommend all women between the ages of 25 and 69 years to have a Pap test done every three years. The Pap test can detect cell changes that might progress to cervical cancer.
The Norwegian Cervical Cancer Screening programme (NCCSP) is run by the Cancer Registry of Norway, in collaboration with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the Norwegian Directorate of Health. The aim is to reduce the number of cancer cases and mortality from cervical cancer. In addition, the programme aims at giving advice and information to public authorities and the public in general regarding measures that can prevent the progression of this cancer. The work done by the Cancer Registry is described by the Cancer Registry Regulations which are found in the Law on Health Records and Processing of Health Data.
After a Pap smear has been taken by your doctor, the sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis. The test answer is returned to your doctor who will inform you of the results. The laboratories send a file with copies of the results to the Cancer Registry, once a month. This transfer of results from the laboratory to the Cancer Registry is described by the regulation on notification from the pathology laboratories to the Cervical Cancer Screening Programme, under the Health Personnel Act. The content of the files include: Name, address, personal identification number, result information registered as codes, the laboratory that did the tests and the community you lived in when the samples were taken. We do not receive any further information about your health. Only especially authorised personnel have access to information about you, and all use is subject to strict rules regarding confidentiality. The samples are stored by the examining laboratory. The Cancer Registry registers all cell samples from the cervix according to the Cancer Registry Regulations.
In order to run the programme, the Cancer Registry is dependent on all test results, also the normal ones. The aims of the NCCSP are to reduce the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer through identifying and treating abnormal cells that might progress to cancer. All information is therefore of great value in evaluation and in quality assurance, and also to develop the programme in order to ensure effective health care with fewest possible disadvantages.