The importance of cervical screening

24 January 2018

A smear test checks for changes in the cells of your cervix (the neck of your womb). There is a National Screening Programme that recommends women are offered screening every three or five years depending on their age. Women aged 25 to 49 are invited for routine screening every three years, whereas those aged 50 to 64 are invited for routine screening every five years.

It is important to remember that a smear test is for women who have no symptoms of cervical cancer. Smear tests have been used for screening of cervical cancer for some time and we know that a smear is not for diagnosing cancer but for picking it up earlier, so if required treatment can be given early to prevent disease or complications. Cancer UK figures show that cervical cancer is the commonest cancer in women under the age of 35 yet government figures show the uptake of cervical smears is falling in women between the ages of 25-49 years since March 2011. A study on the impact of cervical screening on cervical cancer mortality estimated that in England cervical screening currently prevents 70% of cervical cancer deaths. However, if everyone attended screening regularly, 83% could be prevented.

At Spire Gatwick Park Hospital we can offer a private GP consultation to suit your needs and carry out a smear in a sensitive and caring manner by a skilled GP. The results are usually available within two weeks and your GP can discuss these further if the need be. This offers you an opportunity to feel reassured that your cervical screening is up to date. Enquiries can be made by contacting Spire Gatwick Park Hospital on 01293 778 919.

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