What is a Cervical Smear Test?
In the UK it is normal for all women between the ages of 25 and 65 to be invited for a smear test every three years up until they reach the age of 49 and every 5 years from the ages of 50 - 64. If you are registered with a GP then you will automatically receive a letter asking you to make an appointment for a smear test.
Over the age of 65, only women who have recently had an abnormal test result will be invited for further testing.
A smear test involves taking some cells from those lining your cervix and examining them under a microscope to look for any changes that may be occuring. Since cervical cancer kills many women every year it is important to catch it early, before the cervical cells have even become cancerous. Cervical smear tests can pick up very seemingly insignificant changes in your cells thereby allowing your medical caregivers to take action if and when necessary. Because the changes happen gradually over a period of time it's extremely important that you always regularly attend for your smear tests.
Related Smear Test Articles
For further information about HPV visit NHS Cancer Screening Programme.
Further information about Colposcopy and invasive illness is available from the British Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology.
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