Don’t Fear The Smear
What is cervical screening?
Cervical screening is not a test for cancer. It is a method of preventing cancer by detecting and treating early abnormalities which, if left untreated, could lead to cancer in a woman’s cervix (the neck of the womb)
A sample of cells is taken from the cervix for analysis. A doctor or nurse inserts an instrument (a speculum) to open the woman’s vagina and uses a spatula to sweep around the cervix. Most women consider the procedure to be only mildly uncomfortable.
Early detection and treatment can prevent 75 per cent of cancers from developing but like other screening tests, it is not perfect. It may not always detect early cell changes that could lead to cancer.
Who is eligible for cervical screening?
Women aged between 24 and 64 should have a cervical screening every 3 to 5 years to help prevent cervical cancer. The screening is quick and painless and can be done here in the practice.
If you are aged over 24 and have never had a smear test, or if it has been more than 3 to 5 years since your last screening, you should arrange an appointment with our Practice Nurse. You should not have the test while you are having a period or in the 4 days before or after your period as this can affect the sample.
Please visit NHS Cervical Screening for more information.