Cervical screening now prevents approximately 5,000 deaths from cervical cancer per year in the UK, and the incidence of cervical cancer has fallen by 42% between 1988 and 1997. This fall is directly related to the cervical screening program.
Who Should Have Cervical Smears
If you are a woman between the ages of 25 and 65, it is important that you have regular cervical smears. There is a robust system of invitation and recall as well as provision of results by the local Cervical Screening Programme of North East Essex CCG. Women will be sent an invite to have a cervical smear when they are due or overdue a smear.
When you receive this invitation from the Cervical Screening Programme it is important that you make an appointment for a cervical smear. If you change your address you should let the surgery know your new address as soon as possible as if the invitation is returned as ‘gone away’ you will be deducted from our practice.
Protocol for Invitations for Cervical Screening
- Age 25 – First Invitation
- 25-49 – 3 Yearly
- 50-64 – 5 Yearly
- 65 – Only for those whose last 3 tests included an abnormal amount
Cervical Smear Results
The result of your cervical smear will take approximately 2-6 weeks to be available. The result will be posted directly to you at your home address from the Cervical Screening Program.
If your smear is normal, you will be automatically invited to have another smear in 3 –5 years, depending on your age group (see table above).
If you receive an abnormal result the letter will include information as to what will happen next. This may be a repeat smear at the surgery or a referral to the hospital for further tests.
Booking a Cervical Smear
Please book a double appointment with the practice nurse and let the receptionist know that it is a cervical smear. If you have regular period, it is best to arrange to have your smear taken mid-cycle.
For more information visit www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk