Pre-cancerous cell changes do not have any symptoms. So it is very important to have regular cervical screening (also known as smear tests) as part of the UK screening programme.
Cervical screening is open to women aged 25 to 64, and is a very effective way of preventing cancer by finding abnormal cell changes in the neck of the womb (cervix). These changes could lead to cancer if left untreated. They are usually easily treated in clinic which avoids cancer developing.
Research shows that cervical screening prevents around 5,000 cervical cancer deaths each year in the UK. Since cervical screening started in the 1980s in Great Britain, rates of cervical cancer have almost halved. Yet many women do not attend their smear test (cervical screening).
If you have been invited for a cervical screen, contact your GP practice to book an appointment. You can watch the video below to find out how GP practices are making sure patients are kept safe, when they attend their cervical screening appointment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To watch this video in another language, click on the links below.
If your cervical screening is overdue, you may be invited to take part in the YouScreen study. We want to make cervical screening easier. People who do not have regular cervical checks are more likely to develop cervical cancer. We are offering eligible women living in parts of north and east London, the opportunity to take a self-test kit for cervical screening called YouScreen. For more information about the YouScreen study, click here.