A cervical screening test (previously known as a smear test) is a method of detecting abnormal cells on the cervix. Detecting and removing abnormal cervical cells can prevent cervical cancer.
Cervical screening is not a test for cancer; it is a test to check the health of the cells of the cervix. Most women's test results show that everything is normal, but for around 1 in 20 women the test will show some abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. Most of these changes will not lead to cervical cancer and the cells may go back to normal on their own. However, in some cases, the abnormal cells need to be removed so that they cannot become cancerous.
About 3,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK, which amounts to 2% of all cancers diagnosed in women. It's possible for women of all ages to develop cervical cancer, although the condition mainly affects sexually active women between the ages of 30 and 45. The condition is very rare in women under 25.
Our practice nurses carry out screening tests at the practice. Please book a 20 minute appointment with one of them to have this important screening test carried out. You will receive a letter when your test is due.
For more information on the test please speak to our receptionist or practice nurses.