Cervical screening saves lives
The aim of cervical screening is to detect any abnormal cell changes before they can develop into cancer. If you do cervical screening regularly, you have over 90% protection against cervical cancer.
Cell changes in the cervix are not generally felt or seen, and in most cases they do not cause any problems. They are not a threat as such, but may develop into cancer if they are not detected and treated in time. The only way of detecting cell changes is by taking a cell sample, i.e. cervical screening.
Screening is for everyone with a cervix between 23-64 years old, no matter what your gender identity, how you have sex and who you have sex with.
If you are 64 or over and have already done cervical screening, there is very little risk of you developing cell changes. More frequent screening does not give increased protection against cervical cancer.
Make sure you go for cervical screening every time you receive an invitation
Cervical cancer is on the increase; there were over 550 new cases in 2017. Two out of three with this form of cancer had not undergone regular cervical screening. If you go for a test every time you get an invitation, you will have very good protection against this form of cancer.
Many women do the test when they are invited, but far from all. “I don’t have time”, “It will maybe hurt”, “I don’t have cancer anyway,” are some of the reasons people give for not going to cervical screening. In fact it only takes a few minutes and does not normally hurt at all.
If you feel unsure about the test you can bring a friend or ask the midwife clinic for more time and support.