Almost half a million young women aged 25-29 did not attend cervical screening last year.
- Every day in the UK 9 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer
- Around 2 women lose their lives from the disease every day
- Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in women under 35
- 75% of cervical cancers can be prevented by cervical screening (smear tests)
- However, 1 in 4 women do not attend this potentially life-saving test
Screening means testing women for early stages of the illness before they have any symptoms, this allows any abnormalities to detected early and an effective treatment plan to be put in place.
What does cervical screening involve?
Cervical screening is a way of preventing cancer by finding and treating abnormal cell changes in the neck of the womb (cervix). These changes could lead to cancer if left untreated.
At the smear test, a nurse or doctor takes a sample of cells from the cervix with a small brush. They send the sample to a laboratory to check for abnormalities.
In some cases, the samples are also tested for the human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus increases the risk of cervical cancer.
Who has cervical screening?
The NHS cervical screening programme invites women from ages 25 to 64 for cervical screening. Women aged 25 to 49 are invited every 3 years. After that, women are invited every 5 years until the age of 64.
You need to be registered with a GP to get your screening invitation, if you haven’t received this please don’t wait, contact your surgery.
What should I expect after the cervical screening test?
You usually get the results within 2 to 6 weeks. If you get a call back please don’t panic it doesn’t mean it is cancer. Arrange the follow-up appointment and discuss your concerns with your Doctor or Nurse.
Jo’s cervical cancer trust is also a great source of information they also have a dedicated helpline to answer any questions you may have. Helpline: 0808 802 8000
The smear is quick and effective and while we appreciate that for some women there is an element of embarrassment involved, it really can be a matter of life or death.
Don’t think about it, book it!