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Cervical Smear Test
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What is Cervical Cancer?
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), the 4th most common cancer in women is cervical cancer. In the UK alone, there are around 3000 women diagnosed with this every year.
While it is more common in women between the ages of 30 -45 years, it can develop in sexually active women at any age. Cervical cancer is rare in women under the age of 25.
Symptoms of cervical cancer include:
- Normal bleeding: during or after sexual intercourse, or between periods
- Post menopausal bleeding: if you are not on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or have stopped it for six weeks or more
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse
- Lower back pain.
Alsmost all cases of cervical cancer (99.7% – Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust) are caused by Human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a group of viruses that can be spread through sexual intercourse and other sexual activitiy i.e. skin-to-skin contact of the genitals. There are different types of HPV viruses that range from low-risk for cervical cancer to high risk.
In most cases, the immune system is able to clear HPV infection within ~2 years. However, in some situations, this does not happen. If an individual has an infection associated with a high risk type of HPV, then they are more at risk of developing cervical cancer. This is because high risk types are believed to prevent cells from working normally. Instead, these cells being to reproduce uncontrollably which may lead to a the growth of tumours.
Smear Test Explained
A cervical screening test ( also known as a smear test) is performed to detect abnormal cells on the cervix which is the neck of the womb. It is performed to check the health of the cells in the cervix -it is NOT a test for cancer.
Approximately 1 in 20 women will have some abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. Majority of these cells do not lead to cancer and in fact, return to normal without any assistance or treatment. However, sometimes these cells do need to be removed to prevent them from becoming cancerous.
A smear test (or cervical screening test) is performed to assess the health of these cells.
It does this by:
1. Checking abnormal cell changes in your cervix
2. Checking for HPV (Human papillomavirus)
It is important to note that this is NOT a test for cancer, it is a test to help PREVENT cancer.
The NHS Cervical Screening Programme was introduced in the 1980’s to offer FREE cervical screening to all women registered with a GP between the ages of 25-65. Since the introduction of this programme, the number of cases of cervical cancer has decreased by 7 % each year.
The test is FREE for every woman registered with a GP in the UK. You are automatically invited via letter between ages 25 and 64. Regular screening allows any abnormalities as such to be identified and treated at an early stage. As a result, they are prevented from developing into cancer. Although cervical screening is not 100%, it is by far, the best way to recognise any abnormal cell present.
Ideally, the screening should be performed mid-cycle – 14 days after your last menstrual period and NOT during a period. If you use lubricant or a spermicide, it is strongly advised to be avoided 24 hours before the test. This is because the chemicals can affect the results. After a few simple question regarding your sexual health, you will be asked to strip down from waste down and lie down on a couch.
A small instrument called a speculum which is inserted into the vagina. This allows the nurse to visualise your cervix. Following this, some cells from the cervix surface will be collected using a small, soft brush. For majority of women, this is not a painful process. The results should be back within 7-10 days and your nurse will arrange how you would best like to receive these results.
Why choose us ?
Here at The Women’s Health Clinic our qualified nurses and able to offer you an appointment at a location and at a time that is convenient to you. Your named nurse will contact you with your results and also send a copy to your GP if you wish. If further investigation or treatment is required, we can also arrange this for you.
We are able to offer you an appointment time at a clinic location that is suitable for you without the long waiting times you may experience at an NHS clinic and everything is completely confidential – we will not inform your GP unless you specifically ask us to.
Your named nurse will be an expert in the field of women’s health with years of knowledge and experience and hold specialist qualifications within this field.
Offer you an appointment at a location and time most suitable for you
Help you avoid long waiting times you may experience at an NHS clinic
Everything is completely confidential
Your named nurse will be an expert in the field of women’s health with years of knowledge
Free Telephone Consultation
order that we are able to provide you with best possible
Cervical smear - £190
Consultation and smear for 30 minutes with an assigned nurse
Prices apply to UK only where we are nurse led. In many countries only doctors are allowed to carry out this treatment. Please check the relevant clinic page for country specific pricing information
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