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What is a smear test?

Dr Louisa Draper

"Getting tested regularly means that, if there are any early signs of the cancer, they will be picked up and treated early on, giving you the best possible chance for a full recovery. "

Dr Louisa Draper

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A cervical screening test, or ‘smear test’, is a short procedure designed to detect any abnormal cell changes on the cervix. Your cervix is the neck of or entrance to your womb from the vagina. 

Contrary to popular myth, a smear test isn’t a test for cervical cancer. A smear test can, however, detect any abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix that could later develop into cancer if left untreated. 

All women over the age of 25 who are registered with a GP and are living in the UK will be invited for regular smear tests. Attending your smear test is a personal choice, and you always have the right to choose not to go.