About 2,900 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in the UK each year. Overall, 2 out of every 100 cancers diagnosed in women are cervical cancers. But it is the second most common cancer in women under 35yrs.
About 4.4 million women are invited for cervical screening (smear test) each year in England and about 24,000 have a severely abnormal cervical screening result. Early treatment can prevent those cervical changes developing into cancer.
Cervical screening is not a test for cancer. It is a method of preventing cancer by detecting and treating early abnormalities which, if left untreated, could lead to cancer in a woman’s cervix (the neck of the womb). The first stage in cervical screening is taking a sample which some people know as a ‘smear test’. Although it is a little uncomfortable a smear test should not be painful and usually only takes a few minutes. You can attend any of the local CASH clinics for your smear test.
Because cervical cancer most commonly occurs in over 25yrs, all women between the ages of 25 and 64 are eligible for a free cervical screening test every three to five years. Your GP should send you a letter to remind you to book your appointment.