Cervical screening used to be called a ‘smear test’.
NHS cervical screening helps prevent cervical cancer. It saves thousands of lives from cervical cancer each year in the UK. In England cervical screening currently prevents 70% of cervical cancer deaths.
Cervical screening is for women and people with a cervix. We offer screening every 3 years from age 25 to 49 and every 5 years from age 50 to 64. This is because most cervical cancers develop between these ages. First invitations arrive a few months before people turn 25. You can book your appointment as soon as you get your invitation. We invite some people more often due to a previous screening results.
You should consider having screening regardless of your sexual orientation, sexual history, or whether you have had the HPV vaccination.
Screening allows us to detect and treat small changes before they develop into cancer. By attending for screening you are significantly reducing your risk of developing cervical cancer. If there is a reason that you have been put off attending I would be grateful if you could give the practice a call to discuss it and to allow us to update your medical records.
All the nurses that undertake screening have been trained to a high standard. The equipment we now use is all disposable and the sample which is sent to the Laboratory uses the latest technology. The number of samples which the laboratory are unable to report on has reduced dramatically which means less women will receive an inadequate result requiring a re-test. The time between having your sample and receiving the result has also greatly improved.
If you have any concerns around screening please do not hesitate to contact us either by phone or by making an appointment.