Cervical Screening Tests
A cervical screening test (smear test) is a method of preventing cervical cancer by detecting abnormal cells in the cervix (lower part of the womb).
Cervical screening is not a test for cancer, but it is a test to check the health of the cervix. Most women’s test results show that everything is normal. But for one in 20 women, the test will show some changes in the cells of the cervix.
Most of these changes will not lead to cervical cancer and the cells will go back to normal on their own. In some cases, the abnormal cells need to be treated to prevent them becoming a problem later.
The Screening Programme
In the UK, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women under 35 (after breast cancer). About 2,800 women a year are diagnosed with cervical cancer.
The NHS Cervical Screening Programme aims to reduce the number of women who develop cervical cancer and the number of women who die from the disease.
All women aged between 25 and 64 are invited for cervical screening. Being screened regularly means that any abnormal changes in the cervix can be identified early on and, if necessary, treated to stop cancer developing.
It is estimated that early detection and treatment can prevent up to 75% of cervical cancers from developing.
Find Out More About Smear Tests
You can also find lots of useful information on the Cervical Cancer Trust website >
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