Cervical Cancer Screening

Why is cervical screening offered?

Cervical screening (a smear test) looks for the human papillomavirus (HPV) which can cause abnormal cells on the cervix. If HPV is found a cytology test is used as a triage, to check for any abnormal cells.

If no abnormal cells are found, a follow up screen is arranged for 12 months’ time. This will check to see if the immune system has cleared the virus.

Most HPV infections are transient, and slightly abnormal cells often go away on their own when the virus clears. If HPV persists, abnormal cells can, if left untreated, turn into cancer over time.

If abnormal cells are found, the individual will be referred to colposcopy (www.nhs.uk/conditions/colposcopy)

The HPV vaccination programme started in 2008. Vaccinated individuals should still consider offers of cervical screening, as the vaccine does not protect against all subtypes of HPV.

What is a Cervical Screening Test?

Take a look at the Cancer Research UK video it explains exactly what the test involves.

When will you be invited for cervical screening?

Cervical screening is available to women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 64 in England.

All eligible people who are registered with a GP (as female) automatically receive an invitation by mail. Transgender men (assigned female at birth) do not receive invitations if registered as male with their GP, but are still entitled to screening if they have a cervix.

The first invitation is sent to eligible people at the age of 24.5 years. People aged 25 to 49 receive invitations every 3 years. People aged 50 to 64 receive invitations every 5 years.

If you do not want to be invited for screening, contact us and ask to be taken off the cervical screening list. You can ask them to put you back on the list at any time if you change your mind.

How to Make an Appointment

Kirby Road Surgery is able to offer cervical screening appointments throughout the week and also in our extended access slots 7-8am and 6:30-8pm, so you can always come before or after work.

Contact us online or by phone if you think you are due to have cervical screening but have not been sent an invitation or you did not previously book an appointment when you received your letter.