National Cervical Screening Day 5 March! Together we can save lives
The NHS Cervical Screening Programme has made a massive impact on cervical cancer mortality since it was established in 1988, saving an estimated 5,000 lives a year.
Cervical screening can prevent cancer and that’s why we are supporting the Cervical Screenings Saves Lives campaign – a campaign being led by Public Health England.
What is cervical screening?
Cervical screening is a simple test that checks for abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix. Finding and treating these changes can prevent cancer of the cervix developing.
You may be scared of the thought of attending your screening. But you should always remember, you’re not alone. If you are worried or concerned why not ask someone you trust about their experience, speak to your doctor or nurse, or visit the NHS website for more information.
Why is it important to attend your cervical screening?
Around 2,600 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer in England each year and around 690 women die from the disease.
It is estimated that if everyone attended screening regularly, 83% of cervical cancer cases could be prevented. However, screening is at a 20-year low, with one in four women in the UK not attending their test.
The screening test, which only lasts a few minutes, is not a test for cancer. In fact, attending regular screening can help stop cervical cancer before it starts by preventing potentially harmful cells from developing.
What age do you have to be to have a cervical screening?
If you’re aged 25 to 64 you will be invited to attend your cervical screening test.
Women aged 25 to 49 are invited every 3 years. After that, women are invited every 5 years until the age of 64.
Cervical screening also applies to other people within this age range who have a cervix, such as trans men. You can talk to your GP about this or read the NHS information about screening for transgender people.
How to book an appointment
You will receive a letter from your GP inviting you for your screening test, DON’T ignore this letter, call to book your appointment as soon as you get the invite. If you’ve missed your last cervical screening, don’t worry you can still call your local surgery to book your appointment.
To further information about cervical screening visit the NHS website.